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Nielsen Warns US Immigration System at 'Breaking Point' after Guatemalan Boy Dies in US Custody


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Outrage over the way things are being handled at the US-Mexico border has sparked yet again due to the death of another young immigrant child.
Thousands of migrants continue to flood the US southern border each month -- and trapped in the mix are children.
An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died on Christmas Day while in US Border Control custody.
Felipe Gomez Alonzo's death comes just weeks after a 7-year-old girl died. His mother told ABC News that he was not sick on the way to the US nor was he sick at home.
The boy died Monday at a New Mexico hospital where authorities say an autopsy shows he had the flu.
Felipe and his father were detained for a week after trying to cross the border illegally near El Paso on Dec. 18.
USA Today reports that because of "capacity levels" in El Paso, they were moved to the Border Patrol station at Alamogordo, New Mexico, two days later. US Customs and Border Protection says the next day, Felipe was sent to a hospital after a border agent noticed the child was coughing and had "glossy eyes."
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warns the country's immigration system is at a "breaking point."
 "Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders," Nielsen said in a statement. "Smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put these minors at risk by embarking on the dangerous and arduous journey north."
"This crisis is exacerbated by the increase in persons who are entering our custody suffering from severe respiratory illnesses or exhibit some other illness upon apprehension," she added.
Felipe's death has prompted at least one internal investigation with calls for additional investigations.
Congressman Beto O'Rourke of Texas says the situation with the boy's illness isn't uncommon, noting all that these migrant children have been through.
"We just left a shelter where there are a number of little children," O'Rourke said. "One of whom is 3 years old and has a fever. Some of these kids when they get here, who have been traveling for 2,000 miles, they really need some help. They need medical attention; they need us looking out for them."
Secretary Nielsen is ordering medical checks for all migrant children under 10 who are in US custody.

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