ICE Detainee Dies in Apparent Suicide While Being Deported

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A 34-year-old Eritrean man being deported from the U.S. was found dead Wednesday from an apparent suicide at a holding area in the Cairo International Airport, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In a news release, ICE said Zeresenay Ermias Testfatsion was being held by Egyptian authorities as he awaited removal to Asmara, Eritrea. He was found in a shower section of the airport’s holding area.

Testfatsion was arrested at the Hidalgo, Texas, port of entry in February 2017 after he “attempted to unlawfully enter the United States,” ICE said. A federal immigration judge ordered his deportation last October. “He had remained in ICE custody while the agency finalized removal arrangements,” the statement added.


Testfatsion’s death follows news this week of the brutal murder in Mexico of Iowa teen and DACA recipient Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco just three weeks after he was forced by immigration authorities to return to a country he hadn’t known since he was 3.

Cano should have graduated high school in Des Moines, IA, last month, the Des Moines Register reported. Instead, he was killed for “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” while dining with an acquaintance of his cousin in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, where his family was from. Cano and the acquaintance were both killed by attackers likely linked to drug cartels.

ICE officials said Cano’s DACA status was terminated in 2017 after he was convicted of a series of misdemeanor offenses.

Also, in September 2017, another man was murdered in Mexico six months after being arrested by U.S. immigration authorities in an Austin, TX courthouse and deported. Juan Coronilla Guerrero’s body was found on the side of a road in the Mexican state of Guanajuato just months after his wife had warned a U.S. federal judge that he likely would be killed if deported.

Weekend Editor, Splinter

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