Senator grills Trump official who admits migrant kids in U.S. custody don't all have access to a pediatrician
During a hearing on Thursday, Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan on the death of a Salvadoran girl who died in 2018 while in custody of the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Referencing the “medical challenges you’re having along the border,” Peters noted that the Salvadoran girl’s “death was undisclosed publicly until last night”—making her “the sixth migrant child to die after crossing the southern border in less than a year.”
Peters stressed that while it is necessary for the U.S. to secure its borders, “the death of children in custody is simply unacceptable.” And Peters asked DHS if every child in CBP custody had access to a pediatrician—to which the acting DHS secretary replied, “No.”
Peters also asked McAleenan about CBP protocols for transferring children to a hospital if they are suffering “acute symptoms.” And McAleenan responded that he recommended that all children coming into CBP custody “be screened by a certified medical professional…. This is a massive effort going on at the border to protect children.”
.@SenGaryPeters: Yes or no, does every child in CBP custody have access to a pediatrician? @DHSMcAleenan: No. https://t.co/89nnCdL3TG— Face The Nation (@Face The Nation) 1558637476
Peters, however, noted the case of a “16-year-old who passed away” who “was not taken to the hospital” while in custody.
“There are obviously gaps that have to be filled,” Peters asserted.