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MCALLEN, TX - JUNE 23: A migrant child looks out the window of a bus as protesters try to block a bus carrying migrant children out of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Detention Center on June 23, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
MCALLEN, TX - JUNE 23: A migrant child looks out the window of a bus as protesters try to block a bus carrying migrant children out of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Detention Center on June 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by Spencer Platt…

One Year After Jakelin Caal's Death, Little Has Changed for Immigrants in U.S. Custody

The Donald Trump government's administrative disaster continues to have fatal consequences for detained immigrants.

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Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Jakelin Caal, one of the first cases of immigrant children that died under U.S. custody.

At only 7 years old and from Guatemala, Jakelin died from an aggressive generalized infection detected when she was received in a detention center in El Paso, Texas.

The girl had been separated from her father at the border, where she arrived with a group of 163 immigrants with whom she had crossed the New Mexico desert.

Since Donald Trump assumed the U.S. presidency, at least 24 immigrants have died in ICE custody, according to an NBC report, and several reports have consistently pointed to the dire detention circumstances to which undocumented immigrants in the country are subjected.

Just last week, a video was released proving the negligence of immigration agencies in addressing the medical needs of immigrants.

Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan immigrant, was found dead in his detention cell in South Texas during the month of May after his cellmate caught the attention of agents.

Carlos had been diagnosed with the flu and a 103-degree fever at the crowded Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, so he was separated and sent to a station in Weslaco, according to the Border Patrol press release.

Although a nurse practitioner recommended his observation every two hours and transfer to an emergency center in case his condition worsened, a video obtained by ProPublica showed how the agents "missed increasingly obvious signs that his condition was perilous.”

"The cellblock video shows Carlos writhing for at least 25 minutes on the floor and a concrete bench," explains the media, assuring that the young man collapsed and was in the same position for the next four and a half hours.

For their part, a group of volunteer doctors offered in November to vaccinate free of charge migrant children detained in California but were rejected by the Border Patrol office.

Thanks to the administrative crisis instituted by the government under the "zero tolerance" campaign, thousands of families were separated and children and parents suffer the same retaliations, sometimes miles apart.

That's why several religious groups, doctors, activists, and political representatives have called for a vigil in front of the Border Patrol headquarters on Monday to draw attention to the suffering that immigrants continue to live in custody.

In the meantime, the government seems to continue to act as if nothing is happening.

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