SAN ANTONIO — A Honduran man in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Karnes County Residential Center, in Karnes, Texas, passed away Wednesday morning at the facility.
The 27-year-old, a citizen of Honduras, was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. March 18, 2020. During a routine security check, he was found unresponsive and efforts by facility staff and emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful. The preliminary cause of death appears to be self-inflicted strangulation; however, the case is currently under investigation.
He was encountered, with a family member, Feb. 19 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Presidio, Texas, Port of Entry. They were issued an order of expedited removal and transferred to ICE custody at the Karnes facility Feb. 21. At the time of his death, both were awaiting removal back to their home country.
Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate agencies have been notified about the death, including the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, ICE has notified the Honduran consulate.
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. Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the national average for the U.S. detained population.
The agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership, including Enforcement and Removal Operations and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.