Here’s one quick and simple thing you can do right now if you’re feeling heartbroken and enraged at news of another child’s tragic and unnecessary death in immigration detention.
Call the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection and demand that they follow the CDC recommendations for giving migrants the flu vaccine. Then encourage two or three other people to call as well.
DHS Office of Inspector General: 1-800-323-8603
(Just FYI, they will ask for your name and contact information, but we’ve been told it is only for purposes of following up on questions about the investigation.)
DHS Comment Line: 202-282-8495
You can also submit a complaint to DHS OIG online at https://www.oig.dhs.gov/hotline.
If phone calls are not an option for you, you can write a letter, but please do it quickly:
The Honorable Kevin K. McAleenan
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
From the November story linked below: “As influenza spread through migrant detention facilities last winter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that U.S. Customs and Border Protection vaccinate detained migrants against the virus, a push that CBP rejected, according to a newly released letter to Congress.
“An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died of the flu while being detained near El Paso in December, a month before the CDC’s vaccination recommendation. In the months after CBP rejected the recommendation, at least two children — one in El Paso and one in Weslaco, Tex. — died after being diagnosed with the flu in Border Patrol custody, autopsy reports showed. Influenza outbreaks in Border Patrol detention facilities continued through May, sickening hundreds of people, including agents and detainees.
“Carlos was the sixth migrant child to die after being detained while entering the U.S. in less than a year, [and] at least two others died of the flu diagnosed while in Border Protection custody. In the previous decade, not a single migrant child had died in custody.”
Click here for more information about the death of 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez.