January 24, 2019

Duckworth, Colleagues Call for Investigation Into Conditions of Detained Migrant Children Following Death Of Two Children In CBP Custody


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and 19 of their Democratic colleagues in urging the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Comptroller General to examine conditions for all children detained by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Senators hope to prevent future tragedies like the deaths of Jakelin Caal and Felipe Alonzo-Gomez that occurred while in the agency’s care.

“We believe it is imperative that your office open an investigation not only into the circumstances of these two tragedies, but into the broader conditions of children being detained by CBP,” the Senators wrote. “Unless we truly understand what happened in these tragedies, we cannot fix what went wrong and put the correct policies in place so that it never happens again.” 

The Senators outlined a number of questions that need to be addressed to stop these preventable deaths from happening. They also expressed the need for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing as another way of addressing this urgent problem.

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

A copy of the letter is available here.