Lawyer alleges child died due to 'possible negligent care' in ICE detention facility

Detention center in Texas.
(Image credit: HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A migrant child died shortly after being released from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center, and it may have been caused by negligence within the facility.

Reveal learned of the toddler's death via Houston immigration lawyer Mana Yegani, who tweeted the news Tuesday. Her death is "a result of possible negligent care and a respiratory illness she contracted from one of the other children" at the Dilley Family Detention Center in south Texas, Yegani wrote.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association confirmed the death in a Wednesday statement, per The Washington Post, as did Washington, D.C.-based lawyer Melissa Turcios, who was helping the family find counsel. Yegani originally claimed the child died while in custody, but she and ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett both corrected that statement.

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It isn't clear if the child was split from her family under President Trump's zero tolerance policy, as Dilley typically holds families while their asylum claims are being processed. Dilley has come under fire for breaking ICE policy and detaining pregnant migrant women for weeks, Reveal previously reported.

"Without a name or more specific information, we are unable to research this allegation," Bennett said in a statement, per the Post. But "no child or adult has ever died at an ICE family residential center," Bennett told Reveal.

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