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. https://t.co/byMjGrO1NI
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) March 18, 2019
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
— Rep. Norma Torres (@NormaJTorres) March 18, 2019
“A child is sick,” Democratic Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia declared. “We need to know that medical care is being offered. Unacceptable.”
— Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) March 17, 2019
ICE, however, denied that they are in custody of any sick child. (RELATED: Nielsen To Conduct Firsthand Review Of DHS Practices At Border)
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.
Out of an abundance of caution, in response to anonymous reports of a sick child, 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… (1/2)
— ICE (@ICEgov) March 18, 2019
…Nor was any resident seeking medical attention for a child with the symptoms described in the anonymous reports. Read the full statement on the false report of a sick child below. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/XW8WFqq0bc
— ICE (@ICEgov) March 18, 2019
“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. (RELATED: ICE Says Reports About Child Dying In Texas Facility Are False)