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Honduran teen migrant dies in U.S. custody in Florida

A 17-year-old Honduran migrant has died while in U.S. custody in Florida as thousands of migrants trying to enter the U.S. are stuck at the southern border. Pictured are migrants stuck between the primary and secondary fencing at the Tijuana-San Diego border as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, on Thursday. Photo by Carlos Moreno/UPI
1 of 3 | A 17-year-old Honduran migrant has died while in U.S. custody in Florida as thousands of migrants trying to enter the U.S. are stuck at the southern border. Pictured are migrants stuck between the primary and secondary fencing at the Tijuana-San Diego border as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, on Thursday. Photo by Carlos Moreno/UPI | License Photo

May 12 (UPI) -- A 17-year-old Honduran migrant has died in U.S. government custody, according to the Honduran government.

Angel Eduardo Maradiaga Espinoza died in a shelter in Safety Harbor, Fla.

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Honduran Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Reina said on Twitter, "This terrible fact underscores the importance of working together on the bilateral migration agenda on the situation of unaccompanied minors, to find solutions, an issue that has been addressed by President Xiomara Castro at various levels with the U.S."

He said the Honduran government, through the embassy in Washington, D.C., is in contact with the family.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the death in a statement that said the department "is deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our heart goes out to the family, with whom we are in touch."

Espinoza was found unconscious and transported to Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor Wednesday morning, where he was pronounced dead.

HHS said all clinical details of the case are being examined and a medical examiner is investigating the death.

According to HHS, as of May 2 there were, "8,492 unaccompanied children in HHS' care and the average length of time an unaccompanied child remained in ORR's care was 29 days. ORR is working to further reduce length of care in ways that do not jeopardize the safety or welfare of the children."

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Tens of thousands of migrants are at the U.S. southern border following the lifting of the Title 42 pandemic restriction designed to deter illegal migration. There are children among them who have taken arduous journeys in an effort to seek asylum for entry into the United States.

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