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DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visits border after child’s death

  • CATARINA GOMEZ VIA ASSOCIATED PRESSFelipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, near his home in Yalambojoch, Guatemala. Alonzo died in U.S. custody at a New Mexico hospital on Christmas Eve after suffering a cough, vomiting and fever, authorities said. The cause is under investigation.

EL PASO, Texas >> Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is visiting the Texas border city where an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy was detained with his father before dying in government custody.

DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said Nielsen is heading to El Paso today. Waldman says Nielsen will tour multiple stations and substations operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Nielsen is also scheduled to meet with emergency medical technicians and medical professionals, as well as local officials. Nielsen will go to Yuma, Arizona, on Saturday.

The trip comes four days after the death of 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo. Felipe was the second Guatemalan child to die in CBP’s custody in three weeks.

Nielsen has called the death “deeply concerning and heartbreaking” and requested medical help from other government agencies.

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