Demand investigation into death of migrant child

UN Special Rapporteur of the human rights of migrants Felipe González Morales on Dec. 24 called for an independent investigation into the death of Jakelin Ameí Caal, a Guatemalan migrant child who died while in US Customs and Border Protection custody. Jakelin was detained, along with her family and other migrants, after crossing the Mexico border. The factual causes leading up to her death are currently disputed. In the report, Morales stresses the importance of finding out what happened to Jakelin, stating that "if any officials are found responsible they should be held accountable."

Additionally, Morales calls for the US to stop detaining children, whether they are unaccompanied or with their families, and instead look for, and use, alternatives, stating that the "detention of children based on their migratory status is a violation of international law” and causes "long-term severe adverse impacts on children [which] cannot be considered in their best interests."

Earlier in December, the US Supreme Court denied a request by the Trump administration to enforce new asylum rules, which sought to immediately deny asylum to migrants who illegally cross the southern border into the US.

From Jurist, Dec. 24. Used with permission.

Note: UN experts have already called for a halt to President Trump's policy of child separation at the border, which has now formally been suspended.

Photo via Jurist

  1. ICE steps up detainee transfers following second child death

    An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died in United States custody early Christmas Day, the second death of a child in detention at the southwest border in less than three weeks. In the days since then, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stepped up transfer of detained migrants to private shelters. (NYTKFOX14, El Paso)

  2. 22 migrants died in ICE custody in two years

    The 22 immigrants who died in the nation's sprawling network of detention centers over the past two years came to the United States from countries as far-flung as Vietnam, and as close as Mexico. Some had been longtime legal residents, arriving as refugees or students, but were detained by ICE after being convicted of crimes. Others were recent asylum seekers. Many were young—half were not yet 45 years old. (NBC, Jan. 6)

  3. ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike

    Immigration authorities are force-feeding and hydrating six detainees in El Paso, after 11 migrants in federal custody declared a hunger strike. "Non-consensual" hydration and feeding for six detainees was authorized by a federal judge in the Western District of Texas, "where applicable." The strikers claimed asylum at the southern US border between August and October of last year and were placed into ICE detention. (CNN)