Federal congressmen announced on Monday an investigation into the deaths of immigrant children and adults in custody, warning that at least seven minors have lost their lives since 2018 in the custody of Donald Trump’s government.
Democratic Congressmen Carolyn Maloney, chair of the Oversight and Reform Committee, and Jamie Raskin, leader of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee, announced the inquiry after reports warned of a “pattern of neglect and abuse that resulted in serious injuries and deaths of immigrants”.
They sent letters to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL).
“The lack of treatment appears to be a blatant violation of Border Patrol detention standards and raises serious questions about whether DHS is not treating children and adults with the humane principles of dignity and compassion,” Maloney said, quoted in a committee statement.
Specifically, the congressmen alluded to the death of a 16-year-old Border Patrol detainee who died of influenza in a cell where, according to the legislators’ note, he was left “for hours without medical treatment despite prolonged symptoms of severe suffering.
According to the congressmen, “this death is not an isolated incident: at least seven children have died in government custody since 2018, after almost a decade without such deaths.
They add that, according to another recent news story, the CRCL has received at least 17 complaints of inadequate medical treatment or failure to provide treatment at nine different ICE facilities, resulting in two preventable surgeries and influencing four deaths.
The congressmen set Jan. 10 as the deadline for official institutions to submit the required documents.
The congressmen announced their investigation after the DHS inspector general reported last Friday that an internal investigation has concluded that “there was no misconduct” in the death last December of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl and another Guatemalan girl of 8 in separate cases.