Friday, August 10, 2007

Allegations of ICE Mistreatment Contributing To Deaths

There are two news stories about people held in ICE custody (Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody) dying.

Liz Mineo wrote in the MetroWest Daily News on August 9, 2007 about "Illegal immigrant dies in ICE custody." Edmar Alves de Araujo died August 7th hours after police in Woonsocket, Rhode Island arrested him then handed him to ICE officers. According to relatives, he had a seizure condition and needed specific anti-seizure medication that relatives tried twice to give and mention to the local police after the arrest. The second time they went, the local police said he had already been taken by ICE. ICE had Mr. Alves de Araujo from 3pm until he died around 4:15pm. The local police would not answer questions. ICE spokesperson Paula Grenier said that while ICE was processing him at a detention center, he had signs of distress and ICE agents called 911 for help and waited for the EMT. An autopsy is not yet completed.

Adriana M. Chavez wrote on August 9, 2007 in the El Paso Times about "Woman detained by feds dies while in custody." Rosa Contreras Dominguez was detained in August at an ICE detention center, lost consciousness while there, was brought to a hospital, and died. There are two diverging accounts of what happened. Relatives claim ICE did not give proper medical attention and had been complaining for six days how one of her legs was in pain. ICE spokesperson Leticia Zamarripa said ICE gave her a physical examination on the first day and then six days later, she complained that her leg hurt and ICE brought her to a hospital when they noticed she was losing consciousness. According to the article, an autopsy report will be given to the family soon.

These stories come in the context of widespread concern of inadequate medical care being given by ICE to its detainees. In December 2006, the DHS Office of Inspector General issued a report on its audit of five facilities where ICE held detainees and its audit concluded there were many deficiencies in health care. Most of the audited facilities did not comply with standards for documenting detainees' initial screening. Also, ICE had no time limit for responding to sick call requests -- and the audited places frequently failed even to meet their various rules. The OIG's audit did not represent a random sample -- if only Congress spent enough money for an honest and representative audit of how ICE treats its detainees.


At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any thought of updating this story to reflect the autopsy results showing that Mr. Edimar Alves De Araujo died of "acute intoxication due to the combined effects of cocaine and hydroxyzine" as opposed to mistreatment of by ICE?


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