A 52-year-old Nicaraguan man died Friday at an Arizona hospital while in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody, becoming the 12th person to die in the custody of immigration authorities since September, CNN reported.
A CBP statement
said the man “fell into medical
distress,” and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
The man was part of a group of asylum-seekers from Central
America who surrendered to Border Patrol agents near Sasabe, AZ, and were being processed at a Tucson Border
Patrol facility, the statement said.
“Our condolences are with his family,” the statement added.
CBP said its Office
of Professional Responsibility had initiated a review of the circumstances of
the man’s death.
Last Sunday, a 30-year-old
Honduran man died weeks after being taken into custody by immigration
officials, BuzzFeed News reported this week. Yimi Alexis Balderramos Torres
became the sixth person to die while in custody of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement since October, the news site said.
previously had been detained by immigration authorities in Texas last May,
along with his son. He was returned to Mexico under the Trump administration’s Migration
Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which sends
asylum-seekers back to Mexico while their cases proceed through the U.S.
Later in May, Balderramos
crossed the southern U.S. border again, and was detained during a traffic stop
and placed in ICE custody, BuzzFeed reported. He was ordered deported and
transferred to a detention facility in Houston. Later, he was found
unresponsive and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The cause
of death is pending the results of an autopsy.
In the case of the Nicaraguan man, few details currently are available.
CBP said that the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector
General, the Nicaraguan government, and members of Congress have
Other detainees to die in ICE custody since November include a 58-year-old Cuban man; two Russian nationals, a 40-year-old man and a 56-year-old man; a 54-year-old Mexican man; and a 21-year-old Indian national. A 25-year-old Salvadoran transgender woman, Jonathan Alberto “Johana” Medina Leon, died in the agency’s custody in early June.
On Saturday, Donald Trump repeated the false accusation that Democrats “want Open Borders,” which he disingenuously equated with “massive crime and drugs.”