DHS Secretary Nielsen visits border after child's death

A woman carries her son as she looks at people taking part in a gathering in support of the migrant caravan in San Diego U.S. close to the border wall between the United States and Mexico in Tijuana Mexico

An eight-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in USA custody this week had trekked to the border with his father from a rural northwestern village, Guatemala's government said on Wednesday, following thousands of others who have made the area a hot spot of migration.

That's according to the boy's stepsister, who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, two days after the boy's death. He died on Christmas Eve on the way to the hospital, after having been treated at the hospital earlier in the day.

Felipe was taken with his father to the Alamogordo hospital, where he was diagnosed with a common cold, according to the timeline.

Felipe was taken to a hospital, and the father said he gave the boy to doctors, who soon informed him his son had died.

She'll be in El Paso on Friday and Yuma, Arizona, on Saturday, a DHS official said.

Central American migrants part of a caravan hoping to reach the U.S. gets settled in a shelter at the Jesus Martinez stadium in Mexico City Monday Nov. 5 2018. Thousands of Central American migrants have arrived at the stadium still hundreds of mile
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Nielsen said in a statement that the immigration system now rewards parents and other adults from having children with them when crossing into the United States. CBP previously said he had died early on Tuesday.

"Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders", Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wrote on Wednesday.

The screenings were ordered after an 8-year-old child died in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

US Congressman Raul Ruiz of California said on a conference call that CBP facilities he had visited last week near El Paso were "dehumanising" and not equipped to handle emergencies in remote areas of the Mexico-US border.

An agent with the Department of Homeland Security controls access to a holding facility for immigrant children in Tornillo, Texas in this June 21 photo.

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"We've got two Coast Guard teams deploying today to support our Border Patrol agents in checking the welfare of children in our custody".

AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza A migrant climbs the border fence before jumping into the U.S.to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico, on December 27, 2018.

They were given hot food, snacks, juice and water, and two days later, were transferred to the El Paso Border Patrol Station, the CBP said.

Border Patrol said this week that agents would conduct medical checks on all illegal children following the deaths.

The agency did not say how many children are now under its care. A Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal, 7, died on December 8. Both were from Guatemala.

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Holding conditions for illegal immigrants caught trying to cross the border into the United States have been under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks, dating back to the death of a 7-year-old girl who died in us custody after the 2,000 mile journey from Central America.

The death, after the boy was taken to a hospital in Alamogordo, N.M., came during an ongoing dispute over border security and with a partial government shutdown underway over U.S. President Donald Trump's request for border wall funding.

Catarina Gomez via AP This Dec, 12, 2018, photo provided by Catarina Gomez on December 27, 2018, shows her half-brother Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, near her home in Yalambojoch, Guatemala. Felipe, his father and a CBP agent arrived at the hospital a little after 11:00 p.m. CBP said hospital staff were unable to revive Felipe, who was pronounced dead at 11:48 p.m.

Xochitl Torres Small, a Democrat who will represent the district starting in January, called for a thorough and transparent investigation into the children's deaths and more medical resources along the border.

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