Congressman demands to know why Trump team 'covered up' death of child in US custody


The Trump administration never admitted a 10-year-old girl died in U.S. custody in 2018.

The Trump administration hid the fact that a migrant child died in U.S. custody in September 2018, according to a Wednesday CBS News report. This death makes six migrant children who have died in U.S. custody over the last nine months.

The 10-year-old girl from El Salvador died in U.S. custody on September 29, 2018, after being in a coma following a surgical procedure. The girl's death was the first migrant child to die in U.S. custody since 2010, according to CBS.

Congress repeatedly asked the Trump administration about the treatment of migrant children and families, yet the Trump administration hid the fact that a child died in U.S. custody, according to Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

"I have not seen any indication that the Trump administration disclosed the death of this young girl to the public or even to Congress," Castro told CBS News. "And if that's the case, they covered up her death for eight months, even though we were actively asking the question about whether any child had died or been seriously injured. We began asking that question last fall."

This is not the first time the Trump administration has been accused of hiding information with Congress. In mid-May, Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year-old immigrant child, died a week after being apprehended.

"Instead of responding to multiple requests from committees of jurisdiction for this Congress, the administration has stonewalled Congress, dismissed our concerns and doubled down on their cruel policies," Castro said on Tuesday.

Vasquez's death followed the news of a 2-year-old toddler from Guatemala who died in U.S. custody in early May.

Since taking office, Trump has worked to translate his racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric into cruel anti-immigrant policies. Trump orchestrated an unconscionable family separation policy, ripping thousands of migrant children away from their parents in the hope of deterring further immigration. In his demand for a border wall, Trump demanded the wall be painted black in hopes it would burn the skin of migrants who touched it.

Experts say Trump's policies are only making the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border worse, and that was before news broke that a sixth migrant child died on Trump's watch.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.