A French citizen and resident of Angola died in the custody of U.
S. immigration agents, the latest in a number of deaths during a U.S. crackdown on illegal immigrants, they said on Wednesday.
An ICE statement identified the person as “a 40-year-old native of Angola and a citizen of France” only. The man, identified as Samuelino Pitchout Mavinga, was taken to the Torrance County Detention Facility at the Otero County Processing Center until Dec. 11. He was sent for “evaluation of emaciation, altered mental status, and potential sepsis” on the very next day to the Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque.
Mavinga has been diagnosed with sigmoid volvulus or large intestine twisting causing obstruction of the intestine, ICE said. He died on Dec. 29 at the hospital, according to the person with knowledge of the matter. ICE said the preliminary cause of death was cardiac arrest on Thursday.
In the 2020 fiscal year, which started in October, Mavinga is the fourth person to die in ICE custody. Eight people died in the 2019 fiscal year in ICE custody. Under President Donald Trump, ICE has expanded the number of individuals it keeps to record levels.
The news came this summer when about 55,000 immigrants were in detention throughout the country in state jails and in private prisons. As of mid-December, nearly 42,000 immigrants were held in detention by the department ICE. These officials did not respond to a request for comment immediately.
Furthermore, ICE officials have long said they are committed to providing immigrants in their custody with appropriate and adequate medical care, adding that they have access to a routine sick call and 24-hour emergency healthcare. The government has reported that it spends more than $269 million on hospital services annually.
Throughout recent weeks, Congressional authorities have been scrutinizing medical care throughout ICE custody.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced earlier this month that it had launched an investigation into the medical care of immigrant prisoners following a News report that exposed a number of claims of a whistleblower’s under-standard care.
The Congressional Committee released letters asking the Homeland Security Department and ICE officials for a collection of papers. The media published the memo and described how it included reports of inmates receiving inappropriate medication, suffering from delays in the treatment of symptoms of withdrawal, and was mentally disturbed and in that mental state of illness he bruised his own genitals.
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