A Democratic Congressman is accusing the Trump administration of purposely concealing the death of an immigrant child, who perished in U.S. custody last year but whose death wasn’t revealed until just this past week.
CBS News reported on Wednesday about a 10-year-old girl who died on September 29, 2018. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) lashed out at President Donald Trump and his cabinet officials for failing to announce the girl’s death before their reporting.
“It’s outrageous that another child has died in government custody and that the Trump administration didn’t tell anybody,” Castro said.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 23, 2019
What’s more damning, Castro suggested, was that the child’s death was seemingly concealed for months after Democrats had requested information about any such events happening. After two immigrant children had died in U.S. custody in December, lawmakers asked whether similar situations had occurred previously.
“They covered up her death for eight months, even though we were actively asking the question about whether any child had died or been seriously injured,” Castro said.
The report of the girl’s death marks the sixth instance of a child dying in U.S. custody over the past year. Per previous reporting from HillReporter.com, five other children, including 3 in the past 30 days, also died under the administration’s watch.
Castro, the twin brother of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, said he’d seek to begin “immediate inquiries” into the Department of Health and Human Services in order to obtain more information about the girl’s death. He also wants the Justice Department to open investigations into these (and possibly other) children’s deaths.
Earlier this week, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan spoke before a Congressional committee, saying his department needed more funds, lest more children die as a result.
Castro scoffed at that suggestion.
“We give them billions of dollars, and they want to use it on a wall instead of spending it to make sure that people don’t die and that they can medically treat emergencies that migrants maybe come into or that their own agents may come into,” he said.