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  • A child rests as a group of migrants travel through Mexico towards the U.S. southern border.

    A child rests as a group of migrants travel through Mexico towards the U.S. southern border. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 May 2019

The infant from Guatemala, who has not been identified, died after being released from U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody.

A two-year-old boy from Guatemala died in a United States custody, a little over a month after he and his mother crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and were apprehended by U.S. authorities, according to the Guatemalan consul in Del Rio, Texas. The toddler's cause of death has yet to be determined.

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The death comes during the biggest surge of migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in a decade. More Guatemalans are crossing the border than citizens of any other nation, Reuters reported.

The family entered the U.S. from Juarez City, Mexico, in early April. They were apprehended on April 3 on the north bank of the Rio Grande in central El Paso, Texas, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The boy, who remains unidentified, is the fourth migrant child to die since December after being apprehended and held by U.S. authorities at the southern border. 

In December, Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, and Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, died in custody.

On April 30, 16-year-old Juan de Leon Gutierrez died of a brain infection. He was arrested on April 19 after crossing the border near El Paso and was transferred to a shelter for minors.

U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday promised changes in the nation's immigration system to restrict green cards to immigrants who can speak a certain level of English, are well-educated and have job offers within the country. He also pledged to further limit grants on asylum. 

"If you do not have a legitimate asylum claim, you will be quickly returned home," Trump told reporters gathered in the White House garden May 16.

"Our goal in the short term is to make sure that we are laying out what the President's policy is in terms of what he's looking for from immigration reform, and we would like to see if we could get the Republican Party to come together on these two pillars, which we think is a very, very logical, very mainstream point of view," a senior U.S. official, who requested anonymity, told journalists at the White House.

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