A Man With Flu Symptoms Died In Immigration Detention, According To ICE
A fourth person has died while being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in fiscal year 2019, which began in October, officials have said. A man died in an ICE detention center in Florence, Arizona, last week after he reportedly exhibited signs of the flu, officials from the federal agency have revealed in a press release.
According to officials, 54-year-old Abel Reyes-Clemente was found "unresponsive and not breathing" early April 3 by facility personnel at the Florence Service Processing Center. Neither paramedics nor the detention facility's medical staff were reportedly able to revive Reyes, who was later pronounced dead by doctors at Mountain Vista Medical Center, officials said. Bustle has reached out to the agency for additional comment.
"An autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of death," ICE said in a statement released Friday.
Reyes had reportedly been placed into "medical observation" two days earlier after he'd presented "signs and symptoms of influenza," ICE officials said. The agency has said that all detainees are provided with comprehensive medical care throughout their time in ICE custody. "All ICE detainees receive medical, dental and mental health intake screening within 12 hours of arriving at each detention facility, a full health assessment within 14 days of entering ICE custody or arrival at a facility, and access to daily sick call and 24-hour emergency care," a statement from the agency read. ICE officials claimed the agency spent more than $269 million annually on detainees' health care services.
Reyes' death follows those of three other detainees, all of whom were reported to have died in custody in November, ICE records show. Fifty-eight-year-old Wilfredo Padron, a Cuban citizen, died Nov. 1 at the Monroe County Detention Center in Florida after being found unresponsive and unconscious by his roommate in the medical housing unit. According to ICE documents, Padron had a history of strokes and high blood pressure among other ailments and conditions.
Forty-year-old Mergensana Amar, a Russian citizen, died by suicide Nov. 18 at an ICE detention center in Washington. According to an ICE report, Amar had previously gone on a hunger strike in protest of how long immigration courts were taking to rule on his case. In the months leading up to his death, ICE officials noted Amar had been placed on —and later taken off — a suicide watch and mental health observation. ICE documents also show Guerman Volkov, a Russian citizen, died Nov. 30 after experiencing cardiac cardiac arrest shortly after being transported from an ICE detention center in Florida to Memorial Hospital of Jacksonville.
According to officials, Reyes had been in ICE custody since his release from Maricopa County Jail on Feb. 26. Reyes had reportedly been convicted of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor charge for which he reportedly served an undisclosed amount of jail time. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has called for a "full and transparent" investigation into Reyes' death, calling it "yet another reminder that people's lives are at risk in ICE detention."