Feds stop processing migrants at Texas border center after 32 test positive for flu

The site is near a patrol station where a migrant teen died on Monday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection briefly stopped taking in undocumented migrants at a border processing center in McAllen, Texas, after 32 people being held there tested positive for the flu.

The center is one of the busiest spots along the Mexico border and a short drive to a Border Patrol station where a 16-year-old boy died earlier this week.

An agency official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the center was expected to reopen soon. The agency said medical staff were on hand to treat people who were ill.

The agency had announced late Tuesday that the Rio Grande Valley Sector had temporarily suspended "intake operations" at the McAllen Central Processing Center.

"Individuals apprehended in RGV Sector will be held at other locations until this situation is resolved," the agency added.

Border officials say the goal is to move people out of its care within 72 hours. Adults are referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for detention, while minors are sent to Department of Health and Human Services, which relies on privately run children's shelters. Families are typically released with a notice to appear at a later date in court.

The latest death of a child in custody was a teen who appears to have been traveling without his parents and had been waiting for a week in CBP custody to get picked up by HHS -- well past the 72-hour rule. CBP said he was detained at a U.S. Border Patrol station outside of McAllen, Texas, when he was found unresponsive on Monday.

He was the third migrant minor to have spent time in U.S. custody in the past month, and the fifth child to die in six months.

Democrats, who identified the teen as Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, have already called for an investigation.

CBP says it averages soem 69 trips to the hospital a day since mid December with more than 14,000 people taken to the hospital this year.