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NYLAG Responds to Teen migrant from Guatemala found deceased from flu while inside U.S. Border Patrol cell

For Immediate Release

Contact: bpacheco@nylag.org | c: 917.771.9845


(HOUSTON) December 11, 2019: A flu-ridden 16-year-old from Guatemala suffered in agony inside a U.S. Border Patrol cell and collapsed on the floor where he lay for several hours before he was found dead, according to video released by ProPublica on Thursday, December 5th. This further calls into question the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrant families. The New York Legal Assistance Group’s (NYLAG) Supervising Attorney, Crystal Fleming has issued the following statement:


“We have had clients as young as 6-years-old in conditions like these, often referred to as the “Ice Box,’ because of its freezing and intolerable conditions. Our young clients have told us they couldn’t sleep while detained because they were trembling and shivering. No child should be put into these inhumane prison-like conditions.”

“We mourn the loss of this teen and believe that these immigration prisons should not exist for any immigrant.”


Founded in 1990, the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is a leading not-for-profit legal services organization advocating for adults, children, and families that are experiencing poverty or have low-income. We address emerging and urgent needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, direct representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, financial counseling, a medical-legal partnership model, and community education and partnerships.


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