Minor dies in ORR custody in Brownsville

A Southwest Key Programs shelter is seen June 28, 2018 in Brownsville, where children who have been separated from their families are detained.

A teenager migrant in legal custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement died Tuesday at a children’s hospital after several days in intensive care after becoming ill at a Southwest Key Programs facility in Brownsville.

“On the morning of April 21, 2019 the minor became noticeably ill including fever, chills and a headache,” ORR Administration for Children and Families Spokesperson Evelyn Stauffer said in a statement.

The 16-year-old male, who was transferred to the Southwest Key Programs shelter by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on April 20, was taken to the hospital on the morning of April 21 where he was treated and released back to the shelter.

“The minor’s health did not improve after being transferred back to the shelter so on the morning of April 22, 2019 the minor was taken to another hospital emergency department via ambulance,” Stauffer said. “Later that day the minor was transferred to a children’s hospital in Texas and was treated for several days in the hospital’s intensive care unit.”

Stauffer said the ORR arranged for the minor’s brother and Guatemalan officials to visit him during his hospitalization, and his family in Guatemala received frequent updates.

“The cause of death is currently under review and, in accordance with standard ORR policies and procedures, the case will be subject to a full review,” Stauffer said.

According to the statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials did not note any health concerns when it transferred the minor to the shelter, who didn’t note any health concerns upon arrival.

The ORR did not specify in its statement which Southwest Key Programs facility the minor stayed at