Media Contact

Imelda Mejia, ACLU of Texas, 346-299-6803, [email protected]

May 20, 2019

WESLACO, Texas – News reports confirmed today the death of a 16-year-old Guatemalan teen in U.S. Border Patrol custody. The news of his death comes days after the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the ACLU Border Rights Center filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning mistreatment of migrants detained at Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Facilities. According to Customs and Border Protection, the cause of death is not yet known.

Astrid Dominguez, director for the ACLU Border Rights Center, had the following reaction:

“It is appalling that children continue to die on U.S. Border Patrol’s watch. Keeping children in custody goes against our American values. We’ve demanded that the Trump Administration change its inhumane detention practices to prevent tragic deaths from happening. Instead, we’ve received complaints from migrants about inhumane conditions, prolonged detention, lack of shelter, poor medical attention and abuse from agents. This agency is long overdue for reform. We need more than an investigation, children ought to be protected. CBP needs to hire child welfare and medical professionals to humanely receive and process all arriving families.”