Watchdog: No Misconduct In Deaths Of 2 Migrant Children

Published: Monday, December 23, 2019 - 4:02pm

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog says it found no evidence of misconduct or wrongdoing by immigration officials in the deaths of two migrant children last December.

Both children died of bacterial infection during a time when a high number of asylum seekers were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Jakelin Maquín was traveling with a parent in a large group that crossed in New Mexico. The Guatemalan child was put on a bus seven hours after they were detained by Border Patrol agents. She began to vomit, then died.

Then, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was questioned over that death last December: 

"Some of it is to just try and understand what happened. As you know this was an extraordinarily remote location so we have begun investigations and our IG as well as others but to try and understand what other options might have been available," she said at the time.

On Dec. 24, it happened again. Felipe Gomez was diagnosed with a cold while in custody, released from the hospital and died that night. He’d been in Border Patrol custody for a week.