Second child dies in custody - US immigration authorities

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An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died Christmas morning in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection, the agency said. The boy, who was the detained with his father, started showing signs of illness Monday and died in a New Mexico hospital on Christmas Day.

Jakelin and her father Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz were taken into custody on December 6 after crossing the border into New Mexico.

Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, return to Mexico after being hit by tear gas sprayed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General and appropriate members of Congress have also been notified. The child and his father were transported to Gerald Regional Medical Center.

CBP promised "an independent and thorough review of the circumstances".

A mother migrating from Honduras holds her one-year-old child as surrendering to Border Patrol agents after illegally crossing the Texas border.

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Jakelin's family has disputed CBP reports that the child went several days without food and water before she died, saying she was healthy when she arrived in the United States.

Ruben Garcia, director of El Paso's Annunciation House, said Tuesday that he had no reason to believe his shelter had served the family, but was waiting for further details about what happened. She died in the hospital on December 8.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, a Republican whose district along the U.S. -Mexico border includes Alamogordo, did not respond to messages Tuesday. It was not immediately known if the watchdog would open an investigation into the boy's death.

"This is inexcusable", she said in a statement Tuesday.

The child, who has not yet been named, is the second migrant child to have died in U.S. detention this month.

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