RELEASE: CAP, Democracy Forward Appeal the Trump Administration’s Concealment of Records Relating to the Deaths of Migrants in Federal Custody

Washington, D.C. —Today, the Center for American Progress and Democracy Forward Foundation appealed the denial of requests for public records relating to the deaths of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin and Felipe Gómez Alonzo, the first two children to pass away while in U.S. Border Patrol custody in at least a decade. CAP also filed an inadequate search appeal for records relating to Marco Antonio Muñoz, a 39-year-old Honduran father who died of apparent suicide after federal agents separated him from his wife and 3-year-old child.

The appeals come on the same day that the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is holding a hearing on the Trump administration placing migrant children in cages and other forms of inhumane treatment at the border. Members are expected to hear testimony from a mother of a girl who died shortly after being released from an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement family detention facility.

“The public has so few tools at its disposal to learn the truth about what’s really going on in custodial settings—for people held in federal custody, the Freedom of Information Act can shine a light into some of the darkest recesses of society,” said Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at CAP. “That’s why it is so important for the Trump administration to follow the law and comply with our request for information about the death of Marco Antonio Muñoz, who last summer died bv suicide less than 12 hours after his child was taken from him in the opening weeks of the administration’s family separation policy. And with Trump administration officials implausibly denying the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General’s recent findings that migrants are being held for prolonged periods of time in inhumane conditions at the southwest border, it’s more important than ever that the public get full answers regarding the deaths of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin and Felipe Gómez Alonzo, the first two children to die in Border Patrol custody in at least a decade.”

Please click here to read CAP and Democracy Forward Foundation’s appeal regarding DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) constructive denial of requested records for Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin and Felipe Gómez Alonzo.

Please click here to read CAP’s appeal to DHS and CBP’s partial denial of requested records for Marco Antonio Muñoz.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202-741-6292.