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ICE detainee passes away at Chicago-area hospital of liver failure

CHICAGO - A 66-year-old Mexican national who was briefly held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) died Friday afternoon at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., after suffering liver failure.

Antonio Gomez-Hernandez was turned over to ICE custody on Oct. 14 from the Dixon Correctional Center, but was immediately taken to the hospital that same day after complaining of severe chest pain. Gomez-Hernandez underwent emergency surgery for internal bleeding in the abdomen, and remained in the hospital in critical condition since that date. He was pronounced dead at 1:20 p.m. on Nov. 5.

Prior to his death, ICE notified Gomez-Hernandez' family in the United States, and they were able to visit with him. Family members were with Gomez-Hernandez Friday at the hospital prior to his death. ICE also notified Mexican Consular officials of Gomez-Hernandez' medical condition and they also have been notified of his death.

Consistent with ICE protocol, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have also been informed.

Gomez-Hernandez is the first detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2011.