CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS TO REPRESENT FAMILY OF 8-YEAR-OLD WHO DIED IN CBP CUSTODY Texas Civil Rights Project and Haitian Bridge Alliance are seeking an independent autopsy of Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez, and respond to the Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility statement released yesterday

June 2, 2023


Texas Civil Rights Project, 


Haitian Bridge Alliance, 

San Diego, California – Today, the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) is announcing that we are officially representing the family of Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez, the 8-year-old girl who died while in CBP custody. TCRP is partnering with the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) to investigate Anadith’s death and advocate so that the U.S. immediately ends the detention of child migrants.


TCRP and HBA are seeking an independent autopsy of Anadith in order to determine the cause of death. While CBP officials have tried to claim that Anadith was sickly and had prior health conditions, the facts are that when she was apprehended with her family on May 9th, Anadith was healthy, and when she became sick in the detention facility, her mother’s repeated requests for appropriate medical care were denied. Moments after being denied the ability to go to the hospital yet again, Anadith’s mom states her daughter passed away in her arms while in the CBP facility. 


The statement released by the Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility claimed that no officials acknowledged being aware of Anadith’s preexisting condition when in reality, Anadith’s mother told every official she came into contact with about her daughter’s history – including offering to share medical history documents with CBP and medical staff. The statement fails to document important inconsistencies and shows a clear lack of documentation and real accountability. Anadith’s case is not the first instance of a child passing away in CBP custody, TCRP is part of an ongoing legal action over the death of another migrant child who died in CBP custody in May of 2019, Carlos Hernandez Vasquez. 


“Anadith’s parents came to this country seeking what most of us want for our children – safety, opportunity, and the chance at a better future, but instead, they were met with tragedy. To add to their suffering and righteous anger, through this statement, the U.S. government is trying to divert responsibility for this little girl’s death away from their own deadly neglect,” said Karla Marisol Vargas, Senior Attorney with the Beyond Borders Program at the Texas Civil Rights Project. “This is not the first time this has happened, and unless Biden orders CBP to stop detaining children in all forms, it will keep happening.”


HBA has long been advocating and fighting for the rights of Black migrants at the border, who are statistically more likely to face abuse and mistreatment in immigration detention and CBP custody. Anadith and her family are Garifuna, an Afro-Indigenous ethnic group from Honduras. 


“During this time of profound loss, it is paramount that we continue to fight for justice for Anadith and her family and all people seeking protection,” said Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Ana’s death could have been prevented if her and her mother’s cries for medical attention were not dismissed while in CBP custody. When it comes to Black people, we always have to fight to prove our humanity and even then, our humanity is denied. No mother should have to go through this immense pain.”


TCRP and HBA respectfully request that press refrain from contacting Anadith’s family directly, who do not wish to speak to the media as they process their grief. If you have any questions please contact TCRP or HBA.