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Teen Mother and Premature Baby Found Neglected in Border Patrol Custody

HeadlineJun 14, 2019

In Texas, authorities have recovered the bodies of seven migrants from waterways near the U.S.-Mexico border within the last week. All seven appear to have drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande, which is swollen from spring snowmelt and heavy rains. Elsewhere in Texas, attorneys visiting a migrant processing center in McAllen discovered the U.S. Border Patrol holding a 17-year-old Guatemalan mother and her prematurely born 1-month-old girl, who was described as tiny, lethargic, cold to the touch and not eating. The mother was in a wheelchair and still recovering from a cesarean section and had barely slept. Immigrant rights attorney Hope Frye said the baby belonged in a hospital neonatal unit, adding, “You look at this baby and there is no question that this baby should be in a tube with a heart monitor.” Both the infant and her 17-year-old mother are considered unaccompanied minors. Under federal law, they should have been released to the Office of Refugee Resettlement within 72 hours but had been held by the Border Patrol since June 4 until they were reportedly released on Thursday.

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