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Members of Congress tour US Border Patrol facility where 8-year-old Felipe Gomez died

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At least nine Democratic members of Congress visited the New Mexico border patrol facility where 8-year-old Felipe Goméz Alonzo, a Guatemalan migrant, died last month to investigate the circumstances of his death.

Led by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Joaquin Castro and New Mexico’s newly-elected 2nd District Rep. Xochtil Torres Small, the members of Congress went down to the facility in Alamogordo. Torres Small told Politico that the visit was made to ensure that “another tragedy does not happen again.”

Goméz Alonzo was detained on December 18 with his father at this Border Patrol facility. He was transferred to the hospital six days later, on Christmas Eve, because he was exhibiting flu-like symptoms, according to Department of Homeland Security officials. He was diagnosed with a cold and sent back to the detention center. Later that night, he was rushed again to the hospital by Border Patrol agents, where he died.

His death came less than a month after 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, another Guatemalan migrant, died under similar circumstances.

“The deaths of Felipe and Jakelin are inexcusable,” Torres Small told Politico. “Their deaths have highlighted a new reality on the border, and DHS hasn’t adapted quick enough to the changing circumstances on the border to keep children and families, agents, and our communities safe.”

Read more:Jimmy Carter slaps down Trump’s claim that past presidents privately supported a border wall

NBC News reported that, during the visit, Castro said the Trump Administration’s policies are exacerbating a humanitarian crisis.

“If you go into CBP processing centers or detention centers, no American would be proud,” he said, referring to the way migrants are being treated there.

Castro said Border Patrol facilities at the border need the necessary supplies, staff and safety measures to secure the lives of migrants.

“We spoke to CBP officers who patrol areas that don’t have radio communication or cell phone service where they are,” Castro said.

The visit by the congressional delegation comes the same day President Donald Trump announced his own intentions to visit the southern border. No details about his trip have been announced, but Trump is expected to visit the US-Mexico border on Thursday.

The government is currently still under partial shutdown due to Trump’s demands for $5.7 billion to fund his proposed border wall.

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