An eight-year-old boy from Guatemala died shortly after midnight on Christmas Day after being apprehended over an illegal entry attempt within the past month.

In a statement, US Customs and Border Protection said the eight year old had displayed "signs of potential illness" on Monday and was taken to a hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico, where the boy was diagnosed with a cold and a fever. He was released with medical prescriptions yet returned to the hospital on Monday evening after he began vomiting, where he died just hours later, the statement added.

The agency said that the cause of death had not been determined, and that the Department of Homeland Security's inspector-general and the Guatemalan government had been notified.

On December 8, a seven year-old Guatemalan girl died two days after she was apprehended together with her father for illegal entry into the United States as part of a group of 163 undocumented immigrants. According to human rights activists, the girl died from septic shock, fever and dehydration.

The US authorities said that the girl did not consume any food or water for several days. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Jakelin's death was "a very sad example of the dangers of this journey."

Tensions on the border are on the rise as Mexican authorities have said that more than 8,200 asylum-seeking migrants from Central America have reached Mexico, with around 7,400 of the migrants staying near the cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, just south of California, while attempting to access US territory.  

In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order that initiated the process of building a wall along the US-Mexico border. The Trump administration has requested $5 billion for the project from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) budget, which Democrats and some Republicans oppose. The president believes that the wall will stop illegal migration as well as human and drug trafficking. However, after facing opposition to his initiative, Trump has declared that the federal government would be in a state of partial shutdown until he and the Democrats are able to reach a deal on border security issues.