CWS Mourns the Loss of Another Life in CBP Custody

December 27, 2019

CWS Calls on Congress to Hold the Administration Accountable for its Deadly Policies

December 27, 2019

Washington, D.C. – In response to reports of the tragic death of a 41-year-old Congolese woman in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service issued the following statement:

“During a season when many Americans are celebrating the spirit of unity with their families, a woman who sought welcome in the United States has tragically lost her life in CBP custody. As we mourn her death, we are reminded of the cruel and inhumane treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. border – and the need for Congress to hold the administration accountable and see welcome restored.

Her tragic death comes at a time when Congress is investigating medical care for individuals in immigrant detention as a result of a ‘pattern of negligence and abuse’ leading to multiple deaths in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) custody.

It was only a year ago, on Christmas Eve, that Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, an eight-year-old boy from Guatemala, died in CBP custody. He is now joined by another who only wanted to find peace in our nation. Justice demands an immediate end to immigrant detention, the militarization of our border communities, and family separation through deportation.”

For more information contact Christopher Plummer at 

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty.