McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said a migrant woman died while in Border Patrol custody on Monday in Harlingen, Texas, where a young migrant girl died in custody three months ago.
In a statement sent to Border Report, CBP officials said the “29-year-old woman tragically passed away while in U.S. Border Patrol custody in Harlingen, Texas.”
Officials say the woman and her family had been apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley on Sunday evening and had been in Border Patrol custody “for less than 20 hours total.”
“She experienced a medical emergency while in custody, was treated by an on-site medical team, Emergency Medical Services were called to the station and transported her to the local hospital, where she was pronounced deceased,” according to the CBP statement.
In May, 8-year-old girl died while in Border Patrol custody in May, also at a Harlingen hospital.
Panamanian-born Anadith Tanay Reyes Alvarez suffered from sickle cell anemia and a heart condition. She died May 17 after testing positive for the flu and being held in the isolation medical unit at the same Border Patrol facility.
Her family was among thousands of asylum-seekers who crossed the border from Mexico into South Texas just before the lifting of Title 42 and the implementation of current Title 8 asylum rules. The new rules require all migrants seeking asylum to schedule asylum interviews via the CBP One app and to claim asylum in other countries they come to prior to leaving their homelands.
An independent audit following Anadith’s death found the tragedy was “clearly preventable” had protocols been in place to identify vulnerable youth and populations at the facility, according to a court report by a pediatrician.
The girl had been held with her family at the same facility for eight days before being sent to a local hospital where she died. That medical isolation wing was shut down in June following her death, but the Border Patrol facility remains open.
The nationality, information on her traveling family, and medical condition of the woman who died Monday also were not released. This story will be updated if additional information is received.
Migrant advocates have long complained that they have no access to asylum-seekers who are apprehended and in Border Patrol and/or CBP custody. They can only speak with them and access them once they are released to Immigration Customs Enforcement and/or paroled into the country.
CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility is conducting an investigation into Monday’s death, the agency says. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the Harlingen Police Department also have been notified.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.