We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of an eight-year-old girl who was in CBP custody with her parents earlier this week. Consistent with CBP protocol, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is conducting an investigation of the incident.
The health and safety of individuals in our custody, our workforce, and communities we serve is paramount. To that end, we must ensure that medically fragile individuals receive the best possible care and spend the minimum amount of time possible in CBP custody.
As we await the outcome of the investigation into this tragic incident, I have directed the following actions to reinforce existing policies and continue to ensure appropriate care for all medically fragile individuals.
- U.S. Border Patrol and the Office of Field Operations have reviewed —and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis— the cases of all known medically fragile individuals currently in custody, in order to ensure their time-in-custody will be limited, as appropriate.
- CBP’s medical services contractor will take immediate action to review and, where needed, strengthen practices to ensure immediate and appropriate care is being provided to all individuals, especially those who are medically at-risk.
- The Department of Homeland Security’s Chief Medical Officer will immediately initiate a review of medical care practices at CBP facilities and ensure the deployment of additional medical personnel as needed.
Upon completion, we will make the results of the OPR investigation public. Over the past two years, we have added more than 1,000 medical contractors to provide care in our facilities. We will look to the results of this investigation for additional steps to further improve medical care, as needed.