Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) disputed claims Monday that they are refusing medical care for a severely sick infant that is currently being detained with his father at the border.
The claim that ICE is housing a sick infant originated in a tweet thread over the weekend by RAICES, a nonprofit that provides legal services to illegal immigrants. RAICES asserted that they are in contact with a father who said his baby is suffering from “nonstop diarrhea,” “stomach pain” and is unable to eat. The family is allegedly being kept in the Karnes detention center in Texas.
Several Democratic congresswomen tweeted about the child, urging ICE to take the baby to the hospital immediately.
“This is inhumane,” Democratic Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar wrote.
Two children have already died while in @CBP custody. Right now, a very ill 1-year old baby is not receiving the adequate medical care at Karnes, TX.
This is inhumane. This baby must be taken to a hospital immediately.RAICES
✔@RAICESTEXASReplying to @RAICESTEXAS @ICEgov
The baby boy and his dad are still detained.
Tonight will be night 23.
Please continue to call on @icegov to release them immediately. The baby should not be kept in prison-like conditions without adequate medical attention.
Several children have already died in @ICEgov and @CBP custody. Right now, a very ill 1 year old child is suffering at Karnes and is not receiving the adequate medical care to get better. This child must be taken to a hospital immediately. @RAICESTEXAS #StoriesFromKarnes
“A child is sick,” Democratic Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia declared. “We need to know that medical care is being offered. Unacceptable.”
We’ve been reaching out to @ICEgov all day. Nada. No bueno. A child is sick. We need to know that medical care is being offered. Unacceptable.RAICES
We’re continuing our series of #StoriesFromKarnes this evening but please take note: the story we are about to share is devastating and the baby is currently very ill while locked up.
ICE, however, denied that they are in custody of any sick child.
In a statement released Monday, ICE indicated that they “completed auxiliary wellness checks over the weekend” to determine if a child exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms was in custody at Karnes.
“ICE officials completed auxiliary wellness checks over the weekend & confirmed that no child currently in custody at the Karnes FRC is exhibiting signs of dehydration, nor was any resident seeking medical attention for a child with the symptoms described in the anonymous reports,” ICE stated.
In August, an immigration lawyer falsely accused ICE of allowing a child to die from respiratory illness in the Dilley Family Detention Center in Texas. After ICE disputed that report, the lawyer updated her claim to indicate that the child died after she left ICE custody.