Wilmer Josué Ramírez, the youngest of the six children who died while in detention at the U.S. Border, has been sent to his final resting place. Reports say that the boy’s mother is still being held and was not able to attend her son’s funeral.
Migrants continue to surge the U.S.-Mexico border, and Border Patrol still comes up with makeshift confinement sites to keep up with the said surge. An example of this makeshift confinement site is of fences with razor wire tops that have been erected under the Paso del Norte International Bridge. This results in windy nights on cold gravel for the detainees. Some additional concerns they are facing are overcrowding and sanitation.
On 3 April, the mother and son were detained by U.S. Border Patrol Agents, and on 6 April, they were sent via an ambulance to Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso, Texas. On 8 April, they appeared in immigration court and was released at the El Paso hospital. After which point, the family was claimed to be no longer in custody. The boy died after being hospitalized for a month, suffering from pneumonia.
The boy is one of the four Guatemalan children — and one of the six children since 8 December 2018 – who died after apprehension in the US-Mexico border. It is part of the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) procedure to notify the Congress of any deaths during custody. However, whether or not they did so is still unknown.
Tekandi Paniagua, Guatemalan General Consul, claimed that the consulate has been conveying warnings of the current U.S. border state. Paniagua also said that after seeing four back-to-back cases of children’s deaths, the children are evidently the most vulnerable.
Questions have been raised by concerned parties and civilians as to whether or not CBP has been providing sufficient and humane treatment for their detainees.