Statement on the Death of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez

Washington, DC – Following the release of video footage and news coverage detailing the tragic death of 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) President Wendy Young issued the following statement:

Carlos was a child. He was a son and a brother. He was a musician, athlete, and student. Carlos came to the United States seeking safety and a future filled with promise, but the immigration system failed this child in an unconscionable and inexcusable way. Carlos’s death from the flu would likely not have happened if Border Patrol had followed the procedures and policies dictated by law. Immigration laws and policies are not suggestions. They are vital safeguards in place to ensure the children in our nation’s custody are safe. The evidence in this case demands a fuller investigation and accountability for those who failed Carlos. Without that step, other children in U.S. custody remain in harm’s way within our own borders.

Carlos’s death marks the sixth of its kind during the past year, including two other children who passed away as a result of flu.

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Media Contact: Megan McKenna, MMCKENNA@SUPPORTKIND.ORG; 202-631-999