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December 27, 2018

Top House Democrats Call for Preservation of Records Related to Child Deaths in CBP Custody and Announce Plans for Oversight Hearings in 116th Congress

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Chairman-Elect of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, issued the following joint statement calling for the preservation of all evidence related to the two child deaths in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, as well as announcing they will conduct hearings and oversight in the new Congress into those deaths and conditions in those facilities generally:

“We are devastated by the news that yet another child has died in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). After the new Congress begins next week, our Committees in the House of Representatives will hold hearings and conduct oversight of the two deaths that occurred earlier this month, as well as the conditions under which thousands of children are being held in DHS custody. We take seriously our responsibility to conduct meaningful and fair oversight, and to ensure accountability where required."

“As a result, we are calling on DHS to preserve any and all evidence related to these horrible incidents. This evidence includes, but is not limited to, medical records, logs of health and welfare checks, and surveillance videos at all relevant Customs and Border Protection holding facilities, forward operating bases, and processing centers. We as a country can and must do better. We look forward to working with DHS to improve the health and safety of those in its custody and to ensure that this never happens again."

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Media contact:
Shadawn Reddick-Smith (Judiciary) 202-225-6906
Daniel Schwarz (Judiciary) 202-225-5635
Peter Whippy (Lofgren) 202-225-3072
Jennifer Werner (Oversight) 202-226-5181
Adam Comis (Homeland) 202-225-9978
Jamie Geller (CHC/Castro) 202-809-2813