Border detention facilities like those where 8-year-old Guatemalan migrant Felipe Alonzo-Gomez fell fatally ill while detained by Border Patrol are no place for children—healthy or otherwise—top medical experts told The Daily Beast. The boy’s death, the second of a detained migrant child in just over two weeks, spurred promises by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to inspect borderland stations and to order “more thorough hands-on” medical screenings of the 1,400 to 1,500 minors held at the U.S. border on any given day. But medical professionals and human rights advocates said that short of completely ending the policy of holding children in such centers—called hieleras, Spanish for “iceboxes,” because of their frigid temperatures—there is little that can prevent more kids from getting dangerously sick. “There’s no amount of detention that has been found to be good for children,” said Dr. Alan Shapiro, a pediatrician and co-founder of Terra Firma, an organization that provides medical care to undocumented immigrant children. “Children should never be placed in these detention centers… Being in these large facilities where there’s not proper monitoring, it’s very easy for things to go wrong very quickly.” “This father, if he and his son had been in the community, might… Read full this story
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