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Death of 8-year-old girl in Border Patrol custody highlights challenges providing medical care

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The death in Border Patrol custody of an 8-year-old Panamanian girl is the second child migrant fatality in two weeks under government supervision, raising questions about how prepared authorities are to address medical emergencies of people arriving after an often-exhausting journey.

A rush to the border before pandemic-related asylum limits known as Title 42 expired fueled a sharp increase of people in custody. The growing presence of families and unaccompanied children over the last decade presents authorities with enormous responsibilities for medical care. At least six children died in custody during a roughly year-long period from 2018 to 2019.