CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS DEMAND REFORM ON THE BIRTHDAY OF 8-YEAR-OLD, ANADITH DANAY REYES ALVEREZ, WHO DIED IN CBP CUSTODY -Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez passed away in CBP custody this year, recent whistleblower account calls into question the failures made by medical contractor

December 8, 2023


Texas Civil Rights Project, 

Haitian Bridge Alliance, 

TEXAS – Today would have marked Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez’s 9th birthday, a day of celebration with her family. However, her life was tragically cut short May of 2023 while in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Despite being healthy when apprehended with her family on May 9th, Anadith fell ill inside the CBP detention facility. Her mother’s repeated pleas for medical care were ignored by CBP and its medical contractor, Loyal Source Government Services (LSGS).

“Last year we were able to celebrate her birthday together, but this year, she’s not here. I cannot describe how painful and hard it is. My only wish is that we get justice for Anadith,” said Mabel Alvarez.

Tragically, just moments after officials once again refused to provide medical attention and transport her sick child to the hospital, Anadith’s mother witnessed her daughter’s passing in her arms. The Texas Civil Rights Project and Haitian Bridge Alliance are currently representing the family in an ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.

“Our hearts ache for Anadith’s family, who have endured a loss that no one should face. Today Anadith should be celebrating her birthday, her first one in the United States, but this country and its inhumane immigration practices failed her,” said Karla Marisol Vargas (she/her), Senior Attorney with the Beyond Borders Program at the Texas Civil Rights Project. “The whistleblower’s courageous account further proves what we’ve known to be true all along, her death could have been prevented. CBP has set a dangerous trend of ignoring and denying thousands of people in their care who need help. It is time for them to not only start listening to people, but to make serious changes in how medical care is given.”

Last week, the Government Accountability Project sent a letter to Congress detailing the whistleblower account of Mr. Troy Hendrickson, a former Contract Officer Representative reporting to CBP’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO) and CBP’s Office of Acquisition. Mr. Hendrickson details a multitude of widespread failures by LSGS in providing medical care to detainees, as well as failures by CBP in holding LSGS accountable. His account notes widespread and persistent problems with LSGS staffing including severe staffing shortages, employees with expired licenses or credentials, and employees with active investigations or complaints pending against them. Importantly, Mr. Hendrickson notes how CBP continuously refused to hold LSGS accountable even after attempts at escalating concerns regarding these known deficiencies. Like Anadith and her family, Mr. Hendrickson was ignored – but not silenced.

“In the face of this profound loss, it is crucial that we persist in the fight for justice for Anadith, her family, and all individuals seeking protection,” emphasized Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Ana’s tragic death could have been averted if her and her mother’s pleas for medical attention had not been disregarded while in CBP custody. The struggle for acknowledgment of our humanity persists for Black people, requiring constant advocacy. No parent should bear the immense pain that Ana’s mother and father are enduring. We are demanding justice and accountability in the face of injustice”.

TCRP and HBA have repeatedly called for the practice of detaining children to end, and for CBP to provide further transparency into what happened to Anadith. The organizations demand oversight and accountability for CBP’s detention practices, and contracting practices and failure to hold contractors accountable.

TCRP and HBA respectfully request that the media/press refrain from contacting Anadith’s family directly, who do not wish to speak to the media at this time. If you have any questions please contact TCRP or HBA.