Awareness - July 25, 2023 - We Welcome

Awareness - July 25, 2023

Death of a young girl in U.S. Border Patrol custody was a “preventable tragedy”

A report filed by Dr. Paul Wise, an independent monitor, states that a “series of failures” by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees and contractors lead to the death of 8-year-old Anadith Dany Reyes Alvarez, who crossed the border in Texas with her parents. Wise, a pediatrician, was appointed by the federal judge overseeing the Flores settlement, the result of a 1997 case regarding the treatment of unaccompanied minors in immigration detention.

Anadith, who had sickle cell anemia and a heart condition, was detained with her family for over a week in Brownsville, TX, a move which goes against the department’s rule of holding migrants for no longer than 72 hours. During the stay in CBP custody, the girl’s mother repeatedly asked to have her daughter taken to a hospital because she was having difficulty breathing and experiencing flu-like symptoms.  She also had a fever which peaked at 104.9 the day before she died. Her mother’s requests were denied. The child died on May 17 shortly after having a seizure.

"The events…resulting in [Anadith's] death raise a series of other profound concerns regarding not only the direct care she received but also the custodial and medical systems that failed to prevent [Anadith's] clinical deterioration and death," Wise wrote in his report.

Justice Department sues Texas after Governor Abbott refused to remove floating barrier in Rio Grande

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a civil lawsuit against the state of Texas over Governor Greg Abbott’s border security actions along the Rio Grande river. “We allege that Texas has flouted federal law by installing a barrier in the Rio Grande without obtaining the required federal authorization,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a news release.

The DOJ sent a letter to Abbott last week warning him that the use of razor wire and floating barriers in the river to deter migrants from entering the country illegally violates the federal Rivers and Harbors Act. The lawsuit asks a federal judge in Austin to order the state to remove the barriers.