Houston — U.S. border agents have temporarily stopped taking people into the primary facility for processing migrants in South Texas, a day after a 16-year-old diagnosed with the flu at the facility died. In a statement to CBS News late Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said a large number of detainees in its processing center in McAllen, Texas had high fevers and were displaying signs of a flu-related illness.
The agency said it was working to provide medical treatment to all of those who had fevers. To avoid the spread of the illness, the CBP said, intake operations were temporarily suspended at the facility and migrants who would have been brought there will be taken elsewhere until the situation is resolved.
The processing center is a converted warehouse that holds hundreds of parents and children at a time in large, fenced-in pens.
CBP said Monday that a 16-year-old from Guatemala died after being detained at the facility for six days, twice as long as generally allowed by U.S. law. After being diagnosed with the flu on Sunday, Carlos Hernandez Vasquez was transferred to a smaller Border Patrol station, where he was found unresponsive Monday.
CBS Newswho wants to know what happened.
“The hardest part about it all is what happened to him because we never thought this would happen in a place where he’s supposed to be in a better place,” he told CBS News through a translation.
Carlos was the fifth minor since December to die after being apprehended by border agents.