Dec 27, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Democrats plan to investigate deaths of migrant children in U.S. custody

Silhouettes of two young, migrant children at night by the border

Central American migrant children play at a temporary shelter in downtown Tijuana. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Wednesday that Democrats plan to investigate the deaths of 8-year-old migrant Felipe Gomez Alonzo and 7-year-old Jakelin Caal in Customs and Border Patrol custody once Democrats take control of the House next month.

Why it matters: Felipe had been held in detention long past CBP's stated limit of 72 hours, and Jakelin was held in a center without running water, AP reports. But Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen blamed the deaths on "a system that prevents parents who bring their children on a dangerous illegal journey from facing consequences for their actions." Another House Democrat from Texas, Rep. Henry Cuellar, told AP the U.S. should examine funding more detention alternatives, like ankle bracelets.

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