CBP Needs to Strengthen Its Oversight and Policy to Better Care for Migrants Needing Medical Attention [open pdf - 4MB]
From the DHS OIG [Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General] Highlights: "In 2018, two children died in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. We investigated the deaths and reported no misconduct or malfeasance by DHS personnel. Subsequently, Congress requested we review CBP's standards of care for migrants. Our audit objective was to assess whether CBP's policies and procedures safeguard detained migrants experiencing medical emergencies or illnesses along the southwest border. We made three recommendations to improve medical attention and procedures for migrants at the southwest border. CBP needs better oversight and policy to adequately safeguard migrants experiencing medical emergencies or illnesses along the southwest border. According to CBP's policies, once an individual is in custody, CBP agents and officers are required to conduct health interviews and 'regular and frequent' welfare checks to identify individuals who may be experiencing serious medical conditions. However, CBP could not always demonstrate staff conducted required medical screenings or consistent welfare checks for all 98 individuals whose medical cases we reviewed. This occurred because CBP did not provide sufficient oversight and clear policies and procedures, or ensure officers and agents were adequately trained to implement medical support policies. As a result, CBP may not identify individuals experiencing medical emergencies or provide appropriate care in a timely manner."
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Report No. OIG-21-48
Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security: https://www.oig.dhs.gov/