A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy’s lifeless body was left near a toilet on a cold hard concrete cell floor from approximately 1:30 a.m. until 6 a.m. in May this year. He was supposed to have been taken to a hospital with a 103 degree fever, but instead was chucked into a cell at the McAllen immigration detention center in Texas.
Footage from an immigrant detention center in Texas obtained by Pro Publica and published online on Thursday, Dec. 5, showed the final hours of the young soccer player, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, who died from complications of the flu while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US ICE) custody.
The teen was the sixth migrant child to die after being detained while entering the U.S. in less than a year. His death comes on the heels of another report—on Dec. 3, also by Pro Publica—which showed that McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm brought on under the Obama administration to help engineer an “organizational transformation” in the ICE division charged with deporting migrants who are in the United States unlawfully, had proposed major cuts in spending on medical care and supervision of detainees as well as food for migrants. All, they claimed, to save money.
According to Pro Publica, the money-saving recommendations the consultants came up with were so harsh that even some career ICE staff were reportedly uncomfortable.
As the report stated: “The consulting team became so driven to save money, people involved in the project said that consultants sometimes ignored—and even complained to agency managers about—ICE staffers who objected that McKinsey’s cost-cutting proposals risked jeopardizing the health and safety of migrants.”
The New York Times reported last year that McKinsey ultimately did more than $20 million in consulting work for ICE. All this while recommending money be cut from food and medical care for innocent, poor immigrants.
And the firm’s work has continued supporting the Trump administration’s immigration with McKinsey recently signing a $2 million contract to advise U.S. Customs and Border Protection as it drafted a new border strategy to replace the Obama administration’s approach, and another $8.4 million contract––also with CBP––that will keep the firm at the agency through September 2020 at least.
So, all is well with these fat cats while immigrants like Carlos are dead and their parents left with a scar that will never heal.
While McKinsey increases its profits and fattens its bank accounts with U.S. taxpayer dollars, it’s happy to let immigrants like Carlos and other children like Felipe Gómez Alonzo, 8, and Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, die in the name of cost-cutting and cost-saving.
McKinsey should be held directly responsible for the deaths of these children; their blood is on their hands and they must be taken to task for it, beginning with a thorough Congressional investigation.
These innocent children deserve that at least. And since we are in the holiday season––let’s also hand them The Scrooge Award for 2019 as well. They so deserve it!
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow .