Over 40 immigrants have died in ICE custody since Donald Trump took office—Part 1
Felicia J. Persaud | 6/11/2020, midnight
As protests rage across the land over the blatant brutality daily by cops against people of color, primarily Blacks and immigrants, many immigrants in detention facilities are also dying under this xenophobic administration.
Since 2017, when Donald Trump took office, over 40 immigrants in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (U.S. ICE) custody have died in detention centers. That’s over three dozen in three years.
The latest was Guatemalan immigrant Santiago Baten-Oxlaj, 34. Baten-Oxlaj died due to complications related to COVID-19 at the Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, Georgia, on May 24, 2020. He had been hospitalized since April 17, 2020 after becoming ill while in detention at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.
Baten-Oxlaj is the second immigrant to die from COVID-19 while in ICE custody. On May 6, 2020, Carlos Escobar Mejia died from the virus at a San Diego-area hospital. The 57-year-old was an immigrant from El Salvador who had lived in the US since the 1980s, after fleeing El Salvador’s U.S.-fueled civil war. He was being held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego since January 10, 2020.
Because the list is so long, and to honor all and print their names, we will present this article in two parts. Here is the first part of the names of the immigrants who have sadly passed away while in ICE custody, as compiled by the AILA, many after killing themselves from the angst of being locked up like animals:
March 21, 2020
Ramiro Hernandez-Ibarra, a 42-year-old man from Mexico in ICE custody at the Port Isabel Detention Center (PIDC) in Los Fresnos, Texas, died Saturday, March 21, 2020, at the Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas. Per ICE, the preliminary cause of death was listed as complications related to septic shock.
March 18, 2020
A 27-year-old Honduran man died at the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes, Texas. The man was found unresponsive during a routine security check and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. The preliminary cause of death appears to be “self-inflicted strangulation.”
March 8, 2020
Maria Celeste Ochoa Yoc de Ramirez, 22, a Guatemalan national in ICE custody at the Prairieland Detention Center (PDC) in Alvarado, Texas, died at the Texas Health Downtown Forth Worth (THDFW) hospital. The cause of death was autoimmune hepatitis, complicated by septic shock and acute liver failure.
February 21, 2020
David Hernandez Colula, 34, a Mexican national in ICE custody at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center (NEOCC), in Youngstown, Ohio, died on February 20, 2020, at the Mercy Health-St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. Colula was transported to the hospital after facility staff found him unresponsive in his cell. The preliminary cause of death was self-inflicted strangulation.
January 27, 2020
A 63-year-old Cuban man in ICE custody passed away at the Larkin Community Hospital in Miami. Per ICE, the man had been receiving inpatient medical treatment at the hospital since January 23. The preliminary cause of death was ruled to be cardiac arrest.
January 25, 2020
Ben James Owen, a 39-year-old British man, passed away at the Baker County Detention Center in Macclenny, Florida, on Saturday, January 25, 2020. ICE noted that the preliminary cause of death appeared to be “self-inflicted strangulation.”
December 29, 2019
Samuelino Pitchout Mavinga, a 40-year-old native of Angola and citizen of France in ICE custody, passed away at the Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The preliminary cause of death was identified as cardiac arrest.
December 21, 2019
Anthony Oluseye Akinyemi, 56, a Nigerian citizen, passed away at the Worcester County Jail in Snow Hill, Maryland, after he was found unresponsive in his cell and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. The preliminary cause of death was self-inflicted strangulation.
October 15, 2019
Roylan Hernandez-Diaz, a 43-year-old man from Cuba who had been in ICE custody at the Richwood Correctional Center in Richwood, Louisiana, passed away at the facility. Hernandez-Diaz was found unresponsive in his cell and efforts by facility staff and emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful. The cause of death was self-inflicted strangulation.
October 1, 2019
Nebane Abienwi, a 37-year-old man from Cameroon who had been in ICE custody at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, California, passed away at the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. The medical staff identified the cause of death as brain death secondary to basal ganglia hemorrhage.
September 10, 2019
Roberto Rodriguez-Espinoza, a 37-year-old Mexican national who had been in ICE custody at the McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility (MCACF) in Woodstock, Illinois, died at the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois. Attending physicians identified subdural hematoma as the preliminary cause of death.
July 24, 2019
Pedro Arriago-Santoya, a 44-year-old Mexican national who’d been in ICE custody awaiting removal at the Stewart Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, passed away at the Piedmont Midtown Medical Center in Columbus, Georgia. The preliminary cause of death has been identified as cardio-pulmonary arrest, secondary to multi-organ system failure, endocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy with a low ejection fraction and respiratory failure.
June 30, 2019
Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, 30, entered ICE custody on June 6. On June 18, Balderramos-Torres was transferred to the Houston Contract Detention Facility (HCDF) in Houston, Texas. On June 30, Balderramos-Torres was found unresponsive in his dormitory. Medical staff pronounced him deceased on June 30 at 6:45 a.m. (CT).
May 6, 2019
Simratpal Singh, 21, an Indian national in ICE custody at the La Paz County Jail (LPCJ), passed away after efforts by medical staff to revive him were unsuccessful.
April 4, 2019
Abel Reyes-Clemente, 54, a Mexican national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Florence Service Processing Center (SPC), passed away after efforts by medical staff and local paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful.
Part Two, listing those who died from 2018-2017, will continue next week.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.