Now Reading
Second immigrant dies in ICE detention in Arizona
local

From the archive: This story is more than 5 years old.

Second immigrant dies in ICE detention in Arizona

  • The logo of the Corrections Corporation of America hangs over the Eloy Detention Center, which the private prison company runs under contract with immigration authorities.
    Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.comThe logo of the Corrections Corporation of America hangs over the Eloy Detention Center, which the private prison company runs under contract with immigration authorities.

A Mexican man died after collapsing inside an immigration detention facility in Florence on Monday afternoon, according to officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Juan Garcia-Hernandez, 39, was awaiting deportation proceedings at the facility when he collapsed just outside the center's medical unit following a meeting with the facility's medical staff, officials said. Emergency responders and staff attempted to revive Garcia, but were unsuccessful.  

He later died at Florence Hospital in Anthem, the agency said. 

Garcia-Hernandez is the second detainee to die in custody in an ICE facility in Arizona, and the seventh to die in ICE custody nationwide in fiscal year 2015. 

Both of the Arizona facilities are run under contract by Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison contractor.

Just four months earlier, 31-year old Jose de Jesus Deniz-Sahagun, also from Mexico, died in ICE's Eloy facility from asphyxiation after swallowing one of his socks. His death led to a protest by 200 detainees at the facility, who claimed they were subjected to "brutal and inhumane conditions" at the Eloy Detention Center.  

An autopsy by the Pima Medical Examiner ruled Deniz-Sahagun's death a suicide in June. 

Garcia-Hernandez had been in ICE custody since Aug. 27, after his year-long stay of removal expired. 

In March 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted him a voluntary departure, required him to leave the United States within 60 days. However, he stayed in the United States and his voluntary departure became a final order of removal, the agency said. However, a month later, the agency granted Garcia-Hernandez a one-year stay, allowing him to remain in the country legally until June 2015. 

ICE said the agency notified the Mexican Consulate and worked with consular representatives to notify Garcia-Hernandez's next of kin. 

After Garcia passed away, ICE immediately contacted the Mexican Consulate and coordinated with consular representatives to notify Garcia’s next of kin. Consistent with ICE protocol, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have also been informed.

Local law enforcement agencies and state health officials were also informed, ICE said. 

— 30 —

Best in Internet Exploder