On Christmas Day, CWS Mourns the Death of a Young Child Who Died in CBP Custody



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On Christmas Day, CWS Mourns the Death of a Young Child Who Died in CBP Custody


Child’s Death is a Direct Result of Administration’s Attack Against Immigrants and Asylum Seekers


Washington, D.C.– In response to reports of the tragic death of another young child from Guatemala in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service issued the following statement:


“We do not yet know the name of the 8-year-old boy who died in our government’s care yesterday – on Christmas Day – but we know his story. Like countless others, he was a young child, fleeing danger with his family, looking for refuge in what was supposed to be a safer, more compassionate land. His story has so many parallels to that of Jesus’s story.

The gifts of time and love are the true ingredients of Christmas. Families fleeing violence, desperation, and persecution should never find cruelty on the other end of their flight. The story of this child’s death violates the spirit of this season and our very humanity. Not only the government, but all of us failed to protect him, and to abide by our most noble values.

On Christmas Day, as families gathered across our country to celebrate what should be one of the most joyous times of the year, my heart is stricken. We must find a swift end to the detention of immigrant families and children, to the increasing militarization of our southern border, and to the frightening prospects of deportation. The Administration and Congress are accountable for policies that deprive people of hope, freedom, and yes, life. As citizens of this country we must never settle for less.”


CWS’s response to the death of Jakelin Caal Maquin can be found here, and our statement on the Administration’s attacks on asylum can be found here.


Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.