December 10, 2019
Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the death of a young immigrant boy in Border Patrol custody. Senator Feinstein also called on Chairman Lindsey Graham to hold hearings on the deaths of immigrant children.
“Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died in May while in Border Patrol custody in Texas, found by his cellmate lying on a concrete floor. Every single American should be outraged by what happened. This can’t be how America treats desperate immigrants, especially children.
“Thanks to ProPublica reporters, who acquired video of the final hours of Carlos’ life, we know Border Patrol’s account of what happened isn’t accurate.
“Border Patrol said its agents were the ones who found Carlos dead – video shows it was his cellmate, another child, who found the body and alerted agents. Border Patrol also said agents conducted three welfare checks during the night – unless they ignored Carlos on the floor, that can’t be true.
“Border Patrol had already detained Carlos for seven days when he died, more than twice the 72-hour legal limit. That legal limit must be met.
“Carlos, who was 16 years old, had been diagnosed with the flu and had a high fever. Sick children should be sent to a hospital, not transferred to a concrete cell in a border station.
“Carlos is at least the sixth immigrant child to die in custody or soon after being released. Unfortunately, Border Patrol has yet to explain how it will address this problem.
“The heartbreaking death of Carlos is a clarion call for the need to overhaul the administration’s broken immigration system. I’m calling on Chairman Graham to hold hearings on deaths immigrant children. We can’t allow this to continue.”
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