ICE custody deaths: A 42-year-old died, becoming their 10th death in six months.
A 42-year-old Mexican man died on Saturday at a Texas hospital while under the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, becoming the 10th death on ICE’s hands since the beginning of the government’s fiscal year in October. The man, Ramiro Hernandez Ibarra, was awaiting his deportation and died of complications related to septic shock, according to ICE, but the agency did not elaborate on the circumstances that led to his death.
ABC News notes that the 10 deaths that ICE has experienced so far this fiscal year already exceeds the eight deaths that occurred in fiscal year 2019. And as the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the U.S., humanitarians are both taking aim at the quality of medical care that ICE provides to immigrants in custody, and calling upon the agency to release many of its detainees — particularly the nearly 23,000 who do not have criminal convictions.
Carlos Franco-Paredes, a professor in the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s infectious diseases division, pointed out in an open letter last week that immigration detention facilities could become particularly lethal during the pandemic due to their large population density.
“For an immigration detention center that holds 1500 detainees, we can estimate that 500-650 may acquire the infection,” he wrote. “Of these, 100 to 150 individuals may develop severe disease potentially requiring admission to an intensive care unit. Of these, 10-15 individuals may die from respiratory failure.”