Another Immigrant Has Died in ICE Custody: 37-Year-Old Nebane Abienwi

Photo: Elliot Spagat (AP)

Another immigrant died while in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Nebane Abienwi was 37 years old and died on Tuesday. Abienwi had been treated for a brain hemorrhage since Sept. 26, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Abienwi was “experiencing a hypertensive event” in the middle of the night and was taken to Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center on Sept. 26.

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The government agency said that Abienwi had received medical care throughout his time in ICE custody. “ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases. Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a small fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole,” the agency said in a press release.

According to a press release from ICE, here’s how Abienwi came to be at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego:

According to DHS records, Mr. Abienwi applied for admission into the United States without proper entry documents Sept. 5 at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. He was transferred to ICE custody Sept.19.

Cameroon officials and Abienwi’s family were notified of his death. As BuzzFeed News points out, Abienwi is the first death of the new fiscal year. Eight other immigrants in ICE custody died in the 2019 fiscal year.

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