A 54-year-old Mexican man held in a detention center by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement died Wednesday after showing signs of the flu, the federal agency said.
Abel Reyes-Clemente is the fourth person to die in ICE custody since Oct. 1, officials said. Two children held by the Border Patrol began vomiting and died in December. Lawsuits have alleged poor hygiene and medical care at detention centers.
ICE provides detainees with “comprehensive medical care,” the agency said.
Reyes-Clemente was detained at a Florence immigration center on Feb. 26 after serving time at a Maricopa County jail for a misdemeanor conviction of driving under the influence, officials said. He had been deported five times before, most recently in 2008, the agency said.
Reyes-Clemente became sick and was “placed into medical observation” on April 1, ICE said. Two days later, facility personnel found him around 6 a.m., unresponsive and not breathing.
Medical staffers at the detention center and local paramedics who responded failed to revive Reyes-Clemente, the agency said. Doctors at Mountain Vista Medical Center declared him dead at 6:33 a.m.
“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,” officials said in a written statement. “ICE annually spends more than $269 million on the spectrum of healthcare services provided to detainees.”
An autopsy to determine the cause of death is pending.
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