Nicaraguan national in ICE custody dies

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HARLINGEN, Texas – A Nicaraguan national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) passed away at the Valley Baptist Medical Center (VBMC) in Harlingen, Texas, Oct. 8. Preliminary cause of death was cardiac arrest secondary to disseminated intravascular coagulopathy from leukemia.

Julio Cesar Chirino Peralta, 32, a Nicaraguan national, entered the United States on Sept. 10 without inspection, admission or parole by an immigration officer near Brownsville, Texas. On that same date, U.S. Border Patrol arrested Chirino and served him with a Notice and Order of Expedited Removal, Form I-860, pursuant to section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as an intended immigrant without an immigrant visa.

On Sept. 12, USBP transferred Chirino to Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), Harlingen Field Office. He was detained at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas, pending immigration proceedings.

On Oct. 5, the ICE Health Service Corps at PIDC notified ERO Harlingen that VBMC in Harlingen, Texas, admitted Chirino for left side weakness and to rule out a stroke. Chirino was in stable condition.

On Oct. 8, at 8:02 p.m., VBMC notified ERO Harlingen of Chirino’s death.

Consistent with ICE protocols, the appropriate components were been notified about the death, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General, and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.

Additionally, ICE notified the Consulate General of Nicaragua in Houston of Chirino’s passing.

ICE remains committed to ensuring that all those in its custody reside in safe, secure, and humane environments. Comprehensive medical care is provided from the moment individuals arrive and throughout the entirety of their stay. All people in ICE custody 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 medical appointments and 24-hour emergency care. At no time during detention is a detained noncitizen denied emergent care.

Upon an official report of a detained noncitizen death, ICE ERO makes official notifications to Congress, non-governmental organization stakeholders, and the media and posts a news release with relevant details on the public website within two business days, per agency policy. This information may be accessed here: https://www.ice.gov/newsroom. Additionally, Congressional requirements described in the DHS Appropriations Bill (2018) require ICE to make public all reports regarding an in-custody death within 90 days. These reports may be accessed here: https://www.ice.gov/detain/detainee-death-reporting.

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