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July 15, 2020

Thompson: Report on Child Deaths in CBP Custody Shows CBP Has Not Prioritized Migrant Care – with Tragic Results

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he requested out today on the tragic deaths of two children in Customs and Border Protection care in 2018. Through their investigation, the GAO found that CBP has misspent emergency funds meant for migrant medical care, does not properly train its employees on the medical needs of children, and does not properly track or notify Congress on the deaths of those in its care. The Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing today at 12pm EDT on this issue.

“Since two children tragically died in CBP custody in 2018, the Department has stonewalled efforts to determine what went wrong, get answers to the families and the American people, and implement necessary changes,” said Chairman Thompson. “Either DHS leaders are hiding something – or they do not think the welfare of children in their care is a priority. It’s clear that as CBP has grown immensely in recent years, its care of migrant children seems to have taken a back seat with tragic results. This report finally gives us a few of the answers that we have been trying to get from the Department since 2018. I hope that after the hearing we are having today on this report’s findings, along with testimony from medical experts that we had review these deaths, we will be able to shed more light on what went wrong so we can get some answers to the American people and help ensure this never happens again.”

More info and livestream for today’s hearing (12pm EDT)

Link to Report

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