DEMING, NM - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Monday released some details on the tragic death of a child apprehended by Border Patrol agents on July 22, 2022 near Deming, NM. 

According to the press statement, Border Patrol agents were approached by an individual in a remote area, approximately 16 miles northeast of the Columbus Port of Entry, who was seeking emergency assistance. The Border Patrol agents were led to a boy who was having difficulty breathing, foaming at the mouth and in need of immediate medical attention. He was taken by ATV to an ambulance and then transported to Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming. He was then transferred to University Medical Center in El Paso because of the severity of his condition. 

The boy’s father was taken into CBP custody on July 22, and only later permitted to join his child at the hospital, on about July 23. The boy was declared deceased by hospital personnel on July 24.

Rebecca Sheff, senior staff attorney specializing in immigrants’ rights at the ACLU of New Mexico, issued the following statement:

“The preventable death of this child is yet another example of how inhumane border policies lead to tragic outcomes. Because of severe restrictions on asylum at the U.S. border, countless families are forced to make increasingly dangerous and desperate decisions to seek a better life for their families here.

This death raises several significant questions about CBP’s handling of incidents where immediate medical assistance is required. Border Patrol needs to explain why this child in respiratory distress was not immediately airlifted, and why his father was not permitted to stay by his side at the hospital. What we do know is this child spent some of his final days and hours alone, in critical condition, without his loved ones. All people coming to the U.S. in search of sanctuary should be treated with the care and dignity they deserve.”