Congolese Migrant Dies On Christmas While Under Border Protection Custody
House subcommittee launches investigation after multiple migrant deaths.
December 27, 2019 at 9:43 pm
A 41-year-old Congolese migrant died on Christmas Day after spending just one night in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. The news was confirmed Thursday in a statement made by the agency.
The woman, who has yet to be named, presented herself for admission into the U.S. at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge in Laredo, Texas, on Tuesday. After showing paperwork highlighting an unnamed pre-existing medical condition and being cleared in a medical screening, she was transferred to the Lincoln Juarez Bridge for overnight holding and further processing.
"Webb County Medical Examiner's Office (WCMEO) has determined that the death is not suspicious, as the individual had a preexisting medical condition," the agency said in a statement. "CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility was notified and is reviewing the incident."
The death comes only days after Anthony Oluseye Akinyemi, a Nigerian national, died in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a Maryland jail, which is currently under investigation.
The multiple deaths have led to investigations by a House subcommittee, who have begun to ask for documents related to the incidents from the Department of Homeland Security, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
“According to the report, most, if not all, of these incidents were the result of gross negligence on behalf of the ICE personnel and medical professionals tasked with caring for detainees,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the chairman of the subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, said to The Hill. “Reportedly, no action was taken by ICE or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to remedy the inadequacies that led to these horrific incidents.”
The agencies are required to submit documents to the subcommittee by January 10, according to The Hill.