CBS Boosts Dem Claim DHS and CBP Purposely Killing Migrant Kids for Trump

The recent deaths of migrant children in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies were tragic and regrettable. But a Democratic lawmaker, with an apparent boost from the CBS Evening News, claimed without evidence that the deaths were part of an intentional plot by the Trump administration which was being carried out by the Border Patrol and other agencies.

In the midst of a Wednesday report on a sixth child’s death, this one in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, CBS correspondent Omar Villafranca highlighted the radical accusation made by Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL):

VILLAFRANCA: Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan was grilled by House Democrats on Capitol Hill today. There was this tense exchange with Illinois Democrat Lauren Underwood on conditions at migrant facilities.

UNDERWOOD: People keep dying, and so this is obviously more than a question of resources. At this point with five kids that have died, 5,000 separated from their families, I feel like and the evidence is really clear that this is intentional. It's intentional. It's a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration and it's cruel and inhumane.

“That's an appalling accusation and our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day,” acting Secretary McAleenan shot back.

 

 

Even before Villafranca’s report, fill-in anchor and chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett noted that “the latest death came this week, a boy from Guatemala died from the flu.” So, was Underwood accusing Border Patrol of giving him the flu? This was some real tinfoil hat stuff.

Villafranca also admitted that the sixth child “had a history of heart problems, and after surgery in a San Antonio hospital complications let her in a coma. She later died in Nebraska near her family.”

In the other cases, the children either arrived in a weakened state due to the trip, were sick already, or showed signs of illness while in custody. And in those instances, Customs and Border Protection officials also rendered aid, even transporting them to better-equipped facilities or at least attempted to.

But to further slime DHS, Villafranca concluded by saying: “One of the reasons we're just hearing about this child's death from 2018 is that government agencies like Border Patrol and ICE do not have to publicly report a child migrant's death. They just have to report them internally and to local child agencies.”

None of the other broadcast networks brought up this disgusting accusation from Underwood.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
May 22, 2019
6:31:21 p.m. Eastern

MAJOR GARRETT: Good evening. I'm Major Garrett. CBS News has learned tonight a sixth migrant child died after crossing the U.S. border. An official at the Department of Health and Human Services told us late today that an unaccompanied ten-year-old girl from El Salvador died in U.S. custody in September. Now, before tonight officials had confirmed the deaths of five migrant children since December. The latest death came this week, a boy from Guatemala died from the flu. Omar Villafranca has more.

[Cuts to video]

OMAR VILLAFRANCA: CBS News has confirmed that in late 2018 a sixth migrant child died after crossing the U.S. border. The unaccompanied ten-year-old girl from El Salvador was in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement for seven months. The girl had a history of heart problems, and after surgery in a San Antonio hospital complications let her in a coma. She later died in Nebraska near her family.

The latest confirmed death comes on the heels of another migrant child who died Monday after crossing the U.S. border.

We are at the Border Patrol central processing facility in McAllen, Texas. This is where 16-year-old Carlos Hernandez was processed when he was first apprehended. He spent six days at this facility. But, when he was diagnosed with the flu, he was transferred to the Weslaco facility more than 20 miles away. The day after he was moved, he was found dead.

Back in Guatemala, Hernandez's mother is still trying to get answers.

[Villafranca translating] “But there is no information to know how he died. That is what I want to know. And so what I am fighting for is for them to send me the body as soon as possible.”

Late last night, the Border Patrol stopped taking in new migrants at their McAllen, Texas, processing center after 32 migrants already in custody were diagnosed with the flu. Late this afternoon, the facility resumed processing migrants.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan was grilled by House Democrats on Capitol Hill today. There was this tense exchange with Illinois Democrat Lauren Underwood on conditions at migrant facilities.

REP. LAUREN UNDERWOOD (D-IL): People keep dying, and so this is obviously more than a question of resources. At this point with five kids that have died, 5,000 separated from their families, I feel like and the evidence is really clear that this is intentional. It's intentional. It's a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration and it's cruel and inhumane.

SEC. KEVIN MCALEENAN: That's an appalling accusation and our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day.

[Cuts back to live]

VILLAFRANCA: One of the reasons we're just hearing about this child's death from 2018 is that government agencies like Border Patrol and ICE do not have to publicly report a child migrant's death. They just have to report them internally and to local child agencies. Major.

GARRETT: Omar Villafranca, thank you very much.

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