Family of girl who died in Border Patrol custody hold funeral in NYC, say they want justice

The funeral of an 8-year-old girl who died in Border Patrol custody is scheduled for Friday in New York, where her family was heading last month before their journey across the US southern border ended in a tragedy.

The death of Anadith Tanay Reyes Alvarez has placed the US government under new scrutiny in the care provided to thousands of migrants detained at the border every day.

Anadith’s mother says the girl had a history of heart problems and sickle cell anemia. An internal investigation found that Border Patrol medical staff were told the girl’s medical history but refused to review the file before she had a seizure and died on May 17, the ninth day detention of his family.

“We are putting our baby to rest and may she rest in peace. We want justice for her and we don’t want this to happen again. We will fight for justice,” the Álvarez family said in a statement. .

The funeral will be held Friday night in New York, and the family says the girl will be buried in a cemetery in New Jersey on Saturday.

Anadith, who was born in Panama, died at a Border Patrol station in Harlingen, Texas. More than a week earlier, her family of five turned themselves in to border officials after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico.

Anadith tested positive for influenza while in custody. Mabel Alvarez Benedicks, her mother, told The Associated Press that she told officers and staff about Anadith’s medical history. A preliminary report from CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility found that medical personnel refused to review the case.

Late Thursday, CBP announced it had reassigned its chief medical officer, Dr. David Tarantino, following Anadith’s death, saying in a statement that he was “bringing in additional senior leadership to drive actions across the country.” ‘agency”.

The family entered the United States at a time when daily illegal crossings exceeded 10,000 as migrants rushed to beat the end of pandemic-related restrictions on seeking asylum that were lifted on May 11.

While the family was detained in Harlingen, the girl suffered from stomach aches, nausea, difficulty breathing and a fever that reached 104.9 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius) a day before her death. according to the CBP report.

The nurse practitioner also said she refused three or four ambulance requests from the girl’s mother until the girl collapsed in her mother’s arms and passed out.

“Despite the girl’s condition, her mother’s concerns and the series of treatments needed to manage her condition, contracted medical staff did not transfer her to a hospital for further care,” said the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Dr. Paul H. Wise, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University who traveled to South Texas to examine the circumstances surrounding what he called a “preventable” death, said he shouldn’t there should be no hesitation in sending sick children to the hospital, especially those with chronic illnesses. terms.

Lawyers for the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Haitian Bridge Alliance, a nongovernmental organization working with the family, have requested an independent autopsy to determine the girl’s cause of death.

Leave a Comment