Fri, 26 Apr 2019

Mexican Man Dies in US Border Agency Custody

Voice of America
20 Mar 2019, 08:05 GMT+10

A Mexican man died in U.S. custody Monday, a day after border patrol agents detained him near El Paso, Texas.

Following a medical evaluation March 17, the same day he was apprehended for 'illegal re-entry after a prior deportation,' the 40-year-old man was taken to a hospital with 'flu-like symptoms, liver failure and renal failure,' according to a news release Tuesday from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The man died March 18. His name was not released. An office within CBP will conduct a review of the circumstances surrounding the death, as is the agency's protocol. His is the second in-custody death for CBP this year.

Border and immigration officials are under increased scrutiny over the emergency medical care of detainees following the deaths of two children in CBP custody at the end of 2018.

Last month, a 45-year-old Mexican man died at a hospital in McAllen, Texas.

After crossing the border on Feb. 2, he was also detained for illegal re-entry into the U.S. After requesting medical attention, he was hospitalized from Feb. 3 until his death on Feb. 18, according to CBP.

Though no official cause of death was immediately available, CBP officials said the man was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and congestive heart failure.

The stillbirth of a baby during her detention by CBP in February is not considered an 'in-custody death,' according to CBP. The agency nevertheless published details of a Honduran woman's premature labor last month 'to be transparent with Congress, the media and the public,' according to a news release from CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Deaths in immigration custody are rare, however the speed and quality of medical care available to detained travelers especially those who are held after arduous desert crossings earned attention from members of Congress and the media in recent months, prompting border visits by lawmakers, as well as the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

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