DHS Secretary Nielsen visits border after child's death


    FILE- In this Oct. 26, 2018, file photo U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks in front of a newly fortified border wall structure in Calexico, Calif. In a Wednesday, Nov. 28, letter to the heads of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, 112 civil liberties and immigrant rights groups, child welfare advocates and privacy activists are crying foul, demanding an immediate halt to what they call an illegal practice. HHS and DHS are obtaining information from detained children on their U.S.-based relatives for reunification, the authors complain, and “using that data to find, arrest and deport those families.” Already, they write, “families have become too scared to step forward to sponsor children.” (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

    EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is visiting the Texas border city where an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy was detained with his father before dying in government custody .

    DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said Nielsen is heading to El Paso on Friday. Waldman says Nielsen will tour multiple stations and substations operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    Nielsen is also scheduled to meet with emergency medical technicians and medical professionals, as well as local officials. Nielsen will go to Yuma, Arizona, on Saturday.

    This Dec, 12, 2018 photo provided by Catarina Gomez on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, shows her half-brother Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, near her home in Yalambojoch, Guatemala. (Catarina Gomez via AP)

    The trip comes four days after the death of 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo. Felipe was the second Guatemalan child to die in CBP's custody in three weeks.

    Nielsen has called the death "deeply concerning and heartbreaking" and requested medical help from other government agencies.

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