Grieving mother of eight-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in US custody says her son was NOT sick when he crossed the border, despite President Trump’s claims
- Felipe Gomez Alonzo, eight, from Guatemala, lost his life on Christmas Eve after being held at a detention center by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- The same day, Jakelin Caal Maquin, seven, was being laid to rest in her native Guatemalan after dying from dehydration in US custody on December 8
- President Trump tweeted Saturday that both children were ‘very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol’
- But Felipe’s mother, Catarina Alonzo, says her son was healthy each time she checked in with them
- US authorities say the boy was suffering from the flu when he died Christmas Eve
The mother of the eight-year-old boy who died in US custody says her son was healthy when he left Guatemala with his father on their journey to the US, despite President Trump’s claim that the boy was ‘very sick’ when he arrived.
Catarina Alonzo, 32, said Saturday from her remote Guatemalan village that her son Felipe Gomez Alonzo was doing well each time each time he and his father called home to during their trek to seek asylum in the US.
US authorities say the boy was suffering from the flu when he died Christmas Eve in New Mexico, making him the second migrant child to die in US custody.
Alonzo’s claims contradict Trump’s statement Saturday that ‘the two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol.’
Catarina Alonzo said her son Felipe Gomez Alonzo was healthy each time each time he and his father called home to during their trek to the US
Felipe Gomez Alonzo, eight, from Guatemala, lost his life on Christmas Eve after being held at a detention center by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
President Trump tweeted Saturday that both children who died in US custody were ‘very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol’
Alonzo said the last time she spoke with her Felipe, he was in Mexico at the U.S. border and said he was eating chicken.
Catarina’s son’s death came just six days after he and his father crossed into the United States without legal documentation
The father and son were detained 3.29 miles from the port of entry in El Paso, Texas, on December 18.
On the morning of the 24th, Felipe was transported to a local hospital after showing possible signs of influenza. He was given Tylenol and developed a 103 degree fever.
The boy was released at 2.50pm and removed from the detention facility at 10pm to be taken back to the hospital after he appeared weak and nauseous. He got to the medical center at 11pm and was declared dead 48 minutes later.
His death came just six days after he and his father crossed into the United States without legal documentation.
On Saturday Trump took a defiant stance on the deaths of Felipe and seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, tweeting: ‘Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try!
‘The two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol. The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days. Border Patrol needs the Wall and it will all end. They are working so hard & getting so little credit!’
His shocking tweets come amid pressure to end the partial government shutdown – which is rolling into its second weekend – due to a battle over his border wall funding.
President Trump tweeted Saturday blaming the deaths of two Guatemalan children in US custody on ‘Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies’
Felipe , eight, (left) lost his life on Christmas Eve after being held at a detention center by the US Customs and Border Protection. The same day, Jakelin Caal Maquin, seven, was being buried in Guatemala after dying of dehydration in US custody
Catarina Alonzo (pictured with three of her other children) hoped to have her son flown back home to Guatemala
Felipe’s mother shared a photograph of her son and revealed she had allowed him to join his father Agustin Gomez, 47, on the journey through Mexico with the hopes of being granted asylum at the US border.
The distraught mother-of-five spoke last week of how she wanted her son’s remains to be repatriated to the indigenous Mayan family’s village as soon as possible.
‘I want my son to be brought home soon,’ she told Prensa Libre on Wednesday. ‘I need to see him soon and I’m very sad.’
‘I need help to bring my son so that I can be at peace and so that this sadness in my heart can pass,’ she added.
Alonzo revealed she thought Felipe would have helped her husband’s chances of being allowed into the US, according to Guatemalan news outlet Prensa Libre.
She recalled previous stories of children accompanied by their parents who received favorable treatment from immigration officials.
Felipe’s death came the same day Jakelin was being laid to rest in an open casket ceremony in her native Guatemala on Christmas Eve.
Jakelin Caal died on December 8 in a hospital in El Paso, Texas, in the early hours of the morning. She was detained along with her father Nery at 9.15pm on December 6th as they crossed into the US in New Mexico illegally.
The child died of dehydration two days after being arrested at the border. She stopped breathing on a US government bus and was not taken to hospital for more than an hour later.
The Border Patrol agency previously said she ‘had not eaten or drank any water’ for days but they did not indicate how they knew that.
The body of Jakelin Caal, 7, is seen in a casket as friends and family attend her funeral in the Guatemalan village of San Antonio Secortez on Christmas Day, Tuesday
Locals gather around the gravesite as the casket is lowered into the ground on Tuesday
President Trump’s tweet comes amid his incessant blaming of Democrats for government shutdown in response to not funding his border wall.
Cooped up in the White House after cancelling his planned vacation to his private Florida club, Trump previously tweeted that he’s ‘waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security.’
But there has been little direct contact between either side during the stalemate, and Trump did not ask Republicans, who hold a monopoly on power in Washington for another five days, to keep Congress in session.
‘If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try!’: Trump blames…
Father of Guatemalan boy, 8, who died in US custody after…
Share this article
On Tuesday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that it would be focusing its medical examinations on children under the age of 10.
The agency ‘is considering options for surge medical assistance’ from the Coast Guard and may request help from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Source: Read Full Article