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May 20 2019

Fifth Child Dead

There are people who think I exaggerate when I compare the United States to Nazi Germany.

5th migrant child dies after detention by US border agents
by NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press
May 20, 2019

A 16-year-old boy from Guatemala who died in U.S. custody Monday had been held for six days — twice as long as federal law generally permits — then transferred to another holding facility after he was diagnosed with the flu.

The teenager, identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, was the fifth minor from Guatemala to die after being apprehended by U.S. border agents since December.

Advocates demanded that President Donald Trump’s administration act to safeguard the lives of children in detention as border crossings surge and the U.S. Border Patrol detains thousands of families at a time in overcrowded facilities, tents, and outdoor spaces.

“We should all be outraged and demand that those responsible for his well-being be held accountable,” said Efrén Olivares, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project.

“If these were white children that were dying at this rate, people would be up in arms,” he said. “We see this callous disregard for brown, Spanish-speaking children.”

ohn Sanders, CBP’s acting commissioner, said in a statement that his agency was “saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family.”

“CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody,” Sanders said.

Border Patrol agents said Carlos was apprehended on May 13 in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley after crossing the border illegally. He was taken to the agency’s central processing center in McAllen, Texas, a converted warehouse where hundreds of adults and children are held in large, fenced-in pens and sleep on mats.

CBP said Carlos was processed as a minor unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Federal law and CBP’s guidelines generally require that unaccompanied youth be transferred within three days to a facility operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A CBP official who declined to be named in order to brief reporters said Carlos was awaiting transfer to HHS custody on Thursday, three days after his apprehension. At the time of his death, Carlos was supposed to be sent to Southwest Key Casa Padre, a 1,400-person facility inside an old Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, the official said.

Mark Weber, a spokesman for HHS, did not address in a statement why the teenager wasn’t transferred sooner, but said a “minority of cases exceeding 72 hours have generally involved exceptional circumstances.”

CBP said Carlos reported early Sunday morning that he was not feeling well and diagnosed with the flu by a nurse practitioner.

He was prescribed the medicine Tamiflu, then transferred later Sunday to the Border Patrol station at Weslaco, Texas, to prevent his flu from spreading to other detainees.

He was not hospitalized, according to the agency official who briefed reporters. The official said CBP facilities have medical providers who can monitor detainees, though the official did not know what specific symptoms Carlos had.

Carlos had last been checked an hour before he was found unresponsive.

The U.S. government has faced months of scrutiny over its care of children it apprehends at the border. A 2-year-old child died last week after he and his mother were detained by the Border Patrol. The agency says it took the child to the hospital the same day the mother reported he was sick, and he was hospitalized for several weeks.

On April 30, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died after officials at an HHS detention facility noticed that he was sick. He was hospitalized in intensive care for several days before his death.

After the deaths of two children ages 7 and 8 in December, the DHS ordered medical checks of all children in its custody and expanded medical screenings.

“If these were white children that were dying at this rate, people would be up in arms. We see this callous disregard for brown, Spanish-speaking children.”

Oh, let’s expand that to all Brown people, Spanish speaking or not, children or not.

Border Patrol Agent Charged With Hitting Guatemalan Man With Truck Had Called Migrants “Subhuman” and “Savages”
By Molly Olmstead, Slate
May 20, 2019

Bowen believed migrants are “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire,” according to the documents. “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!” he said in another text to fellow agent Lonnie Ray Swartz, who at the time was facing murder and manslaughter charges for shooting through the border fence in Nogales in 2012, hitting 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, who had been allegedly throwing rocks toward the agents, 10 times. (Swartz was acquitted.) Bowen also texted Swartz in 2017 that rock throwers were “mindless murdering savages.”

Federal prosecutors, in filing the documents, were asking a judge to allow the texts as evidence of his attitude toward the migrants he apprehends at the border. But according to Bowen’s defense attorney, certain terms are “commonplace throughout the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, that it is part of the agency’s culture, and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen’s mind-set,” according to the Daily Star.

Other examples the prosecutors give are equally offensive. In one, someone asks Bowen, “Did you gas hiscorpse or just use regular peanut oil while tazing?? For a frying effect.” To which Bowen responds, “Guats are best made crispy with an olive oil from their native pais.” In another, sent before the December 2017 incident, he complained that Border Patrol was a “failed agency” because “we are treated like shit, prosecuted for doing what it takes to arrest these savages….” (He said he would also miss the “chase of hunting down shitbags with your crew.”)

Bowen has a record of alleged violence on the job, according to the Daily Star. In one instance, he was accused of searching a car without probable cause, pulling the car’s occupant out forcefully, and throwing him to the ground. One agent alleged Bowen “tackled” a migrant to the ground after the migrant had stopped running, busting the migrant’s lip. One migrant said Bowen had pulled him from the ground by handcuffs after he had tripped, injuring his wrists. Another migrant said that while he was handcuffed in a vehicle Bowen was driving, Bowen suddenly and intentionally slammed on the brakes, causing the migrant to be injured when he was thrown forward into the dashboard.

The incident that led to his charges occurred when he and two other Border Patrol agents chased down a man who appeared to have jumped the border fence near the Mariposa Port of Entry, according to a sworn affidavit filed by a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. As the man, 23-year-old Antolin Lopez Aguilar, ran back toward the port of entry after being found at a gas station parking lot, Bowen allegedly “accelerated aggressively into a position behind the running Lopez Aguilar” and struck the man twice with his Ford F-150, knocking him to the ground. The truck “came to a full stop within inches of running Lopez-Aguilar over where he lay on the ground,” according to the special agent.

Lopez was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries and sentenced the next day to 30 days in federal prison for illegally crossing the border, according to the Daily Star. After Bowen learned he was being investigated over the incident, he sent a memo to the chief patrol agent arguing he had been unfamiliar with the truck’s acceleration and had not intended to actually hit Lopez, according to prosecutors.

“Commonplace throughout the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, that it is part of the agency’s culture, and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen’s mind-set.”

Did you hear the one about the Jew, the Gypsy, and the Gay on the way to the Gas Chamber?

Are you happy living downwind of the Camps, Good German?