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Immigrant Death in Detention Marks 12th This Year Under ICE Custody

According to reporting by Rewire, a recent report indicates that the number of deaths in detention is on track to be the highest in six years in Fiscal Year 2017. Rewire reported the recent death of Felipe Almazan-Ruiz in Texas on September 17, 2017 as the twelth death this year under ICE custody. The deaths bring attention to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s lack of medical care and neglect of detainees, as national reports have indicated a public health crisis.

Almazan-Ruiz was being held at IAH Secure Adult Detention Center, in Livingston, Texas, a facility operated by Management & Training Corporation. Activists have repeatedly called for the closure of this facility, known as Polk County Detention Center, for its restricted and inadequate access to medical care among other humanitarian reasons. The facility is notorious for detaining immigrants in dangerous conditions.

Photo from Flickr

Almazan-Ruiz was transferred to Polk County from Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. According to ICE, he died of cardiac arrest after being admitted for treatment of cirrhosis of the liver. He was transferred to Livingston Memorial hospital and then to the Conroe Regional Medical Center.

Grassroots Leadership issued a press release in response to Almazan-Ruiz’s death. “Simply put, detention and deportation are a deadly business,” said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership.  “Given the high-profile failings of the detention system in Texas, it is outrageous that the Trump administration is planning a massive new for-profit detention center down the road in Conroe.”  

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