July 17, 2020

Cortez Masto: GAO Report Shows Administration’s Negligence Toward Migrant Children’s Health

Report Findings Demonstrate CBP is Not Consistently Following Their Own Protocols for the Health and Safety of Migrant Children

Las Vegas, Nev. – Following the deaths of  migrant children in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined a letter led by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) requesting the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examine the facility conditions for children who are detained by CBP. The GAO report found CBP does not follow its own guidelines for medical care for migrant children and ignored the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that CBP administer flu shots. In addition to these findings, the report demonstrates CBP also inconsistently reported deaths of detainees in CPB custody, as well as serious illnesses and other injuries suffered in detention facilities.

“This report proves what we already knew about the dilapidated conditions inside detention facilities. No child should ever die while in our care. No child should ever be subjected to inhumane detention practices. And no child should ever be deprived of basic needs like medical care, food and proper hygiene. The Trump Administration has willingly failed to keep Customs and Border Patrol accountable for its actions, which have led to the death of seven migrant children. This report is evidence that we need stronger oversight over CBP when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of migrant children and families in our custody.”  

BACKGROUND:

In addition to Senators Casey and Feinstein, 20 other Senators signed on to the letter in January 2019 requesting a report detailing the care of migrants in CBP custody, and outlining a number of questions that need to be addressed to prevent future tragedies from happening. The original letter can be found here

Read the GAO report here

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