The death count at detention centers continues to rise. On Sunday, a 30-year-old man from Honduras died at the Houston Contract Detention Facility. The victim’s name is Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, and according to NBC News, he was found unresponsive.
In an official statement by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency reports that Balderramos-Torres had sought asylum with his son only to be told to return to Mexico and await his hearing. This new policy under the Trump Administration requires some people seeking asylum to “Remain in Mexico” rather than stay in a U.S. detention center, which is customary.
ICE states that Balderramos-Torres returned to the U.S. again and gave himself up to agents. He was then taken to the Houston Contract Detention Facility and twelve days later he was dead. ICE report that he was not with his son during his second admission to the U.S.
NEW: A 30-year-old man died in ICE custody Sunday, according to a source w knowledge of the matter. He had crossed the border after being returned under the Remain in Mexico Program.
I've asked ICE for comment.
— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) July 1, 2019
“Balderramos-Torres was found unresponsive in his dormitory,” ICE states. “Attempts by medical personnel from ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to revive Balderramos-Torres were unsuccessful. EMS immediately transferred him to MHNH; MHNH medical staff pronounced him deceased on June 30 at 6:45 a.m. (CDT). On May 17, 2019, Balderramos-Torres was encountered by the U.S. Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas. He was found to be inadmissible to the U.S. and returned to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols pending disposition of his immigration proceedings.”
The cause of death is under investigation.
ICE states that Balderramos-Torres is the sixth detainee to pass away in ICE custody in the fiscal year of 2019, which began Oct. 1, 2018. However, since the presidential election of Donald Trump, a total of 25 people have died under his administration.
Before the death of Balderramos-Torres, NBC News reported that “Twenty-four immigrants have died in ICE custody during the Trump administration. At least four others, including Medina Leon, died shortly after being released from ICE custody. The number of in-custody deaths remains below the peak of 32 deaths in 2004, the first full calendar year records were kept.”
NBC News reports that this death count does not include “five children, who have died in the custody of other federal agencies.”
This death comes less than a day after members of Congress visited facilities in Texas to see the inhumane conditions.
“At the El Paso Border Patrol Station #1, women from Cuba, some grandmothers, crammed into a prison-like cell with one toilet, but no running water to drink from or wash their hands with,” Joaquin Castro tweeted. “Concrete floors, cinder-block walls, steel toilets. Many said they had not bathed for 15 days. Some had been separated from children, some had been held for more than 50 days. Several complained they had not received their medications, including one for epilepsy. Members of Congress comforted them when the women broke down.”