An Undocumented Immigrant Reportedly Committed Suicide While In ICE Custody


Efrain De La Rosa, a 40-year-old, Mexican national that was detained by immigration officials allegedly committed suicide. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that De La Rosa died on July 10 after he was “found unresponsive in his cell and efforts by facility staff and emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful.”

De La Rosa is the eighth person to die while in ICE custody this year alone.

ICE reports that De La Rosa was being held at the Stewart Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, after being arrested in Wake County, North Carolina on March 11.

According to ICE, De La Rosa was found unresponsive in his cell at approximately 10:38 p.m. “Facility staff and medical personnel immediately began to perform CPR and contacted Stewart County Emergency Medical Services, which arrived at the facility at 10:48 p.m. The preliminary cause of death appears to be self-inflicted strangulation; however, the case is currently under investigation.”

There have been other suicides at the Stewart Detention Facility this year, which speaks to a larger pattern at that center.

“The deaths and systematic abuse at Stewart are not only tragic, but infuriating,” Azadeh Shahshahani, legal and advocacy director at Project South, said to CNN.

“ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases,” ICE stated in a press release. “Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole.”

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