Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García Votes to Establish Humanitarian Standards in Border Protection Custody

July 25, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García released the following statement after voting for H.R. 3239, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act: 

“Yesterday we learned details about the autopsy of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vásquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy who died two months ago while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Weslaco, Texas.  Carlos died of the flu, complicated by pneumonia and sepsis, next to the toilet on the cold floor of a CBP cell. We don’t know exactly for how many hours he laid down on the floor before his death was discovered.

“What happened to Carlos and the five other children who have since died in CBP custody is abhorrent and shameful. This bill takes important steps to prevent these atrocities from happening again by setting fundamental standards for the health and care of children and migrants in DHS detention facilities.

“These steps include mandating initial health screenings for each child and adult in CBP custody to identify and treat acute and high-risk conditions. It also provides the necessary resources to implement these additional health and safety standards including drinking water, toilets, sanitation facilities, hygiene products, food, shelter, and adequate space. Detainees are also given access to mental health and healthcare professionals as needed.

“This legislation is an important first step to ensure the health and safety of women, children, and immigrants in CBP custody.”