United States Shuts Immigration Jail Where Teenager Died

HOUSTON (AP) — Federal agents have temporarily closed their primary immigration jail in South Texas one day after a 16-year-old died after being diagnosed with the flu at the prison.

In a statement released late Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it would stop detaining immigrants at its processing center in McAllen, Texas. The agency said “a large number” of people in custody Tuesday were found to have high fevers. It said it is working to provide medical treatment to them.

Immigrants arrested in the Rio Grande Valley will be jailed elsewhere until the situation is resolved, the agency said.

The processing center is a converted warehouse that holds hundreds of parents and children at a time in large, fenced-in pens.

Customs and Border Protection said Monday that a 16-year-old from Guatemala died after being jailed at the warehouse for six days, twice as long as generally allowed by federal law. After being diagnosed with the flu on Sunday, Carlos Hernandez Vasquez was transferred to a smaller Border Patrol station, where he was found unresponsive Monday.

Carlos was the fifth minor since December to die after being arrested by border agents.

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