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U.S. CBP chief defends agents in child border deaths


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U.S. CBP chief defends agents in child border deaths

By Doina Chiacu

 

2018-12-30T145809Z_1_LYNXNPEEBT0A9_RTROPTP_4_USA-IMMIGRATION-BORDER.JPG

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan addresses a news conference on the Trump administration's plan to deploy U.S. military forces to the Southwest border at U.S. Customs & Border Protection headquarters in Washington, U.S., October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Sunday defended his agents' handling of two sick children who died in their custody, saying they did everything they could to get medical help for them in difficult circumstances.

 

The deaths have intensified the debate over U.S. immigration policy as President Donald Trump holds onto his demand that lawmakers give him $5 billion to fund a wall along the border with Mexico.

 

The impasse over Trump's border wall resulted in a partial government shutdown that entered its ninth day on Sunday.

 

CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told ABC's "This Week" it had been a decade since a child had died in the agency's custody and that the loss of two Guatemalan children in three weeks was "just absolutely devastating for us on every level."

 

Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, died on Christmas Day. In early December, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal died after being detained along with her father by U.S. border agents in a remote part of New Mexico.

 

On Saturday, Trump blamed Democrats for the deaths of the two children in a Twitter post, drawing criticism that he was politicizing the tragedies.

 

The standoff over his demand for wall funding will be a test for Congress when it returns this week with Democrats in control of the House of Representatives.

 

Trump sees the wall as vital to stemming illegal immigration, while Democrats and some Republicans see it as impractical and costly.

After the death of the second child, the CBP said it will conduct secondary medical checks on all children in its custody, with a focus on those under 10.

 

Caal was 94 miles (150 km) from a Border Patrol station when she began vomiting on a bus ride to the station, McAleenan said on ABC. He said a Border Patrol agent who was a paramedic revived her there and she was taken to a children's hospital in El Paso, where she died.

 

In the boy's case, McAleenan said, it was a Border Patrol agent who first noticed he was ill and sent him and his father to a hospital. State officials in New Mexico said on Friday that Felipe had the flu before he passed away.

 

"Our agents did everything they could, as soon as these children manifested symptoms of illness, to save their lives," McAleenan said.

 

'VULNERABLE POPULATIONS'

McAleenan said the number of families and children crossing the border illegal has increased steadily in recent months and made up 65 percent of crossings in December. Those families and children are entering a system set up for adults.

 

"We don't want them in border patrol stations. We want them in a better scenario for these vulnerable populations that we are seeing," he said.

 

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would hold hearings on the deaths and "the policies that entice people to come."

 

A border wall was the last measure listed by McAleenan as necessary to address what he called a crisis at the southern border - after new legislation in Congress, investing in Central American nations to help improve life there, and working with Mexico on a joint plan for handling migrants.

 

"We need a sober-minded nonpartisan look at our immigration laws to really confront and grapple with the fact that children and families are coming into this cycle," he said. "That's first and foremost."

 

Before it can hope to tackle complex immigration legislation, Congress must reach a deal on the critical spending measure.

 

Graham on Sunday proposed enticing Democrats into supporting Trump's border wall by offering in return a measure providing legal status for 700,000 so-called Dreamers, children who were brought to the United States illegally.

 

"So to my Democratic friends, there will never be a deal without wall funding and many Republicans are going to offer something as an incentive to vote for wall funding that you have supported in the past," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

 

However, fellow Republican Senator Richard Shelby warned on CBS' "Face the Nation" that negotiations were at an impasse and the shutdown "could last a long, long time."

 

Democratic U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries said the country needs comprehensive immigration reform and border security.

 

"But we are not willing to pay $2.5 billion or $5 billion and wasting taxpayer dollars on a ransom note because Donald Trump decided that he was going to shut down the government and hold the American people hostage," Jeffries said on ABC.

 

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Daniel Wallis)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-12-31
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"Trump blamed Democrats for the deaths of the two children in a Twitter post, drawing criticism that he was politicizing the tragedies." "There you go again", to quote Reagan.

Trump is like some grand daddy "You kids go get a bigger padlock, one of them good ones. That'll stop the lawbreakers"

Adult children "We'll get electronic surveillance with real time notifications that covers all entry points instead pops."

 The great wall of China was breached many times by Genghis Khan. It is easier to defeat a wall than to build one. But Trump doesn't study history, or anything, for that matter.

 

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5 hours ago, Emdog said:

But Trump doesn't study history, or anything, for that matter.

The only thing Trump studies is how to manage that ridiculous comb-over, must take him at least an hour each morning to get that thing just right.

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6 hours ago, Emdog said:

The great wall of China was breached many times by Genghis Khan.

Somehow the equivalence between flip flop wearing families trying to climb over a 20 foot fence to hordes of some of the toughest fighting men in the world attacking a fortification escapes me 

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6 hours ago, Emdog said:

"Trump blamed Democrats for the deaths of the two children in a Twitter post, drawing criticism that he was politicizing the tragedies." "There you go again", to quote Reagan.

Trump is like some grand daddy "You kids go get a bigger padlock, one of them good ones. That'll stop the lawbreakers"

Adult children "We'll get electronic surveillance with real time notifications that covers all entry points instead pops."

 The great wall of China was breached many times by Genghis Khan. It is easier to defeat a wall than to build one. But Trump doesn't study history, or anything, for that matter.

 

Not talking about the Berlin wall for that matter how many people got killed climbing the wall

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4 hours ago, Nyezhov said:

Somehow the equivalence between flip flop wearing families trying to climb over a 20 foot fence to hordes of some of the toughest fighting men in the world attacking a fortification escapes me 

 

3 hours ago, White Christmas13 said:

Not talking about the Berlin wall for that matter how many people got killed climbing the wall

As some of the military people have stated, a wall is nothing more than an inconvenience.    

 

The Great Wall of China had guard towers within view of each other throughout it's length.   The well-equipped fighting force was met by an equally well-equipped fighting force, but breaches occurred.   

 

Along the Berlin Wall there were 47,000 soldiers to guard it.   Even with a 'shoot to kill' order it was breached by ordinary people.   

 

So, $5billion to build it and then without thousands of troops to guard it, it is useless.   

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11 hours ago, Emdog said:

"Trump blamed Democrats for the deaths of the two children in a Twitter post, drawing criticism that he was politicizing the tragedies." "There you go again", to quote Reagan.

Trump is like some grand daddy "You kids go get a bigger padlock, one of them good ones. That'll stop the lawbreakers"

Adult children "We'll get electronic surveillance with real time notifications that covers all entry points instead pops."

 The great wall of China was breached many times by Genghis Khan. It is easier to defeat a wall than to build one. But Trump doesn't study history, or anything, for that matter.

 

Get real!  Genghis Khan had an army. It wasn't a band of local villagers trying to cross the border. That analogy is pathetic.  Democrats say we don't need a wall, but comprehensive immigration reform and border security.  What exactly does that mean?  Trump has proposed reforming immigration laws but the Democrats won't take up the subject. Ask a Democrat what border security means and they can't give you an answer.   Why does reforming immigration laws have to be part of border security.  To me they are two distinct subjects. The problem is that the Democrats are using the "Wall" as a political tool. Trump ran on the idea of securing the border and everyone knew what that meant.  No Republican expected the Great Wall on the southern border but they do expect that wall, fences, electronic measures, and human patrol, should be used to stem the tide of illegals entering the country. The "Wall" has always been a buzz word for securing the border.  Let's see what specific measures Nancy Pelosi puts forth when the Dems run the House next month. The incompetents in Congress will continue to just talk in general and never get to specifics on either border security or reforming immigration laws because it is all about politics on both sides.  Any group of high school students given the task could come up with common sense laws for immigration reform and ideas for border security, yet neither party can stipulate a 10 point list of things that need to happen to improve the situation.

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3 hours ago, Credo said:

The Great Wall of China had guard towers within view of each other throughout it's length.   The well-equipped fighting force was met by an equally well-equipped fighting force, but breaches occurred. 

Your evidently failed History. So we dont go off topic, you can start with this simple read.:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/china_great_wall/military-defense/genghis-khan.htm

 

The Berlin wall was designed to keep people in, not out. Tell me sir, how many folks got through the Berlin Wall in 28 years?

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3 hours ago, Nyezhov said:

Your evidently failed History. So we dont go off topic, you can start with this simple read.:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/china_great_wall/military-defense/genghis-khan.htm

 

The Berlin wall was designed to keep people in, not out. Tell me sir, how many folks got through the Berlin Wall in 28 years?

And from your link:

In his lifetime, Genghis Khan led his Mongolian army to break through the Great Wall not only once, but several times at Wusha Fortress, Juyongguan, Zijingguan, and Tongguan, etc. These successes were a big help in overthrowing of the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234 AD) and founding of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368 AD).

 

As far as the Berlin Wall, it is estimated that 5,000 got through and that is in a highly populated, heavily guarded (nearly 50,000 troops) wall with shoot to kill orders.   138 were killed trying.   

 

There is no difference between keeping people in or out.   So, if you build a $5 billion wall, how many troops are you going to station there?   How much to maintain it oh and how long before people fine a way over, under or around it?   Are you going to build it in the middle of the Rio Grande or keep US farmers from the vital resources of the river?

 

As far as the mistreatment of children it continues:

 

Sheriff's Office to refer dragging, shoving incidents at migrant child shelter to prosecutors

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will refer incidents of staffers dragging and shoving migrant children at a shelter to county prosecutors for determination of whether criminal charges are warranted.

The announcement came after The Arizona Republic published videos from Southwest Key's Youngtown Hacienda Del Sol shelter, showing the mid-September incidents.

The videos, obtained from state health authorities and blurred to protect the children's privacy, involved three children and various staffers.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2018/12/30/video-showing-abuse-southwest-key-shelter-go-maricopa-county-prosecutors/2447629002/

 

So, no I didn't fail history nor do I need to distort it and the mistreatment continues.

 

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3 hours ago, Nyezhov said:

Your evidently failed History. So we dont go off topic, you can start with this simple read.:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/china_great_wall/military-defense/genghis-khan.htm

 

The Berlin wall was designed to keep people in, not out. Tell me sir, how many folks got through the Berlin Wall in 28 years?

Approx 5,000, but no doubt even more evaded the security structure along the rest of the border into West Germany even though there was a shot to kill policy. Two good friends of mine evaded security and got across.

 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/berlin-wall-escape-stories_n_6090602?ec_carp=4922512596419623126

 

However, as repeatedly mentioned hundreds of thousands (approx 40% of illegals) enter the US by air on a visa then overstay to become 'illegals' which trump has not addressed.  Nor does trump's misinformation campaign factually address controlling illegals drugs entering the US on a massive scale and people trafficking by sea / air and so on.

 

A few days back it was fact checked that trump makes on average 15 false claims a day, how anyone can support such an individual for POTOS is unbelievable.

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3 hours ago, Credo said:

As far as the Berlin Wall, it is estimated that 5,000 got through and that is in a highly populated, heavily guarded (nearly 50,000 troops) wall with shoot to kill orders.   138 were killed trying.   

5,000 in 28 years. I think America would be happy with that.

 

3 hours ago, Credo said:

In his lifetime, Genghis Khan led his Mongolian army to break through the Great Wall not only once, but several times at Wusha Fortress, Juyongguan, Zijingguan, and Tongguan, etc. These successes were a big help in overthrowing of the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234 AD) and founding of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368 AD).

Guess you fail critical thinking. Read how they did it. Again, you are comparing a military campaign to campesinos?

 

 

3 hours ago, Credo said:

So, no I didn't fail history nor do I need to distort it and the mistreatment continues.

So if the authorities prosecute the folks who allegedly "mistreated" the children, should their parents not also be prosecuted for dragging their kids through the desert?

 

3 hours ago, simple1 said:

However, as repeatedly mentioned hundreds of thousands (approx 40% of illegals) enter the US by air on a visa then overstay to become 'illegals' which trump has not addressed. 

Sources? 

 

3 hours ago, simple1 said:

Nor does trump's misinformation campaign factually address controlling illegals drugs entering the US on a massive scale and people trafficking by sea / air and so on.

Are you saying that no drugs cross the southern border?

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48 minutes ago, Nyezhov said:

5,000 in 28 years. I think America would be happy with that.

 

Guess you fail critical thinking. Read how they did it. Again, you are comparing a military campaign to campesinos?

 

 

So if the authorities prosecute the folks who allegedly "mistreated" the children, should their parents not also be prosecuted for dragging their kids through the desert?

 

Sources? 

 

Are you saying that no drugs cross the southern border?

Still not ready to get back on topic are you?   $5 billion and maybe 50,000  troops to protect a border?   

 

Now back on the parents, who managed to take reasonable care of their children for a 2,000 mile journey, but within hours they die?   Oh, and to put them in facilities for them to be abused?   The parent's didn't do it -- your gov't did it.   

 

Here's one of many links about the number of illegal crossings in the US compared to those arriving legally and overstaying their visa.   

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/visa-overstays-outnumber-illegal-border-crossings-trend-expected-continue-n730216

 

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1 hour ago, Credo said:

Now back on the parents, who managed to take reasonable care of their children for a 2,000 mile journey, but within hours they die? 

Maybe they wouldnt have died in hours if they didnt travel 2000 miles on foot. But hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

 

Now if an American parent took their infant on say on 50 mile journey on foot through the desert heat and the kid got sick, I can assure you the CPS do gooders would be on them like like a bargirl on a banknote, not even considering criminal charges of child neglect.

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4 minutes ago, Nyezhov said:

Maybe they wouldnt have died in hours if they didnt travel 2000 miles on foot. But hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

 

Now if an American parent took their infant on say on 50 mile journey on foot through the desert heat and the kid got sick, I can assure you the CPS do gooders would be on them like like a bargirl on a banknote, not even considering criminal charges of child neglect.

Most of them didn't travel by foot.   Check your facts.   

 

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2 hours ago, Nyezhov said:

5,000 in 28 years. I think America would be happy with that.

 

Guess you fail critical thinking. Read how they did it. Again, you are comparing a military campaign to campesinos?

 

 

So if the authorities prosecute the folks who allegedly "mistreated" the children, should their parents not also be prosecuted for dragging their kids through the desert?

 

Sources? 

 

Are you saying that no drugs cross the southern border?

As you well know - No. Would be a great improvement to this forum for you to cease your nonsense.

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5 minutes ago, Credo said:

Most of them didn't travel by foot.   Check your facts.   

Well they sure as hell dont wander through the desert on 4 wheelers do they?

 

But hey, Im not saying that if a child in US custody is mistreated, then criminal liability SHOULD NOT accrue..it should. So I agree with that position.

 

Equally, a parent that subjects his or her child to conditions that would result in that childs illness should also be criminally liable. An US parent would be. Should illegal aliens get a pass?

 

Fair is fair.

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2 hours ago, Nyezhov said:

Well they sure as hell dont wander through the desert on 4 wheelers do they?

 

But hey, Im not saying that if a child in US custody is mistreated, then criminal liability SHOULD NOT accrue..it should. So I agree with that position.

 

Equally, a parent that subjects his or her child to conditions that would result in that childs illness should also be criminally liable. An US parent would be. Should illegal aliens get a pass?

 

Fair is fair.

But of course, as any lawyer would tell you, it depends on what kind of conditions the child faced previously to immigration. And the conditions in those countries can be quite horrificc. Fairness is not so simpleminded as you make it out to be.

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