EL PASO, Texas — A Honduran woman who was in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) died early Friday at the Lovelace Medical Center (LMC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An autopsy is pending to determine her cause of death.
Jeffry Hernandez, 33, entered ICE custody May 13 in San Diego. Two days later, ERO San Diego transferred her to ERO El Paso, and on May 16 Hernandez arrived at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico, where she was housed in the transgender unit.
On May 17, Hernandez was admitted to Cibola General Hospital with symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration and complications associated with HIV. Later in the day she was transferred via air ambulance to LMC, where she remained in the intensive care unit until her passing. LMC medical staff pronounced her deceased May 25 at 3:32 a.m. (MDT), and identified the preliminary cause of death as cardiac arrest.
On May 9, 2018, Hernandez was processed as an expedited removal when she applied for admission at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California. Six days later, on May 15, Hernandez was transferred to the Cibola County Correctional Center.
Between 2005 and 2009, Hernandez twice illegally entered the United States; she was granted voluntarily return to Mexico each time since she claimed Mexican nationality when encountered by immigration officials. On Jan. 23, 2014, she illegally re-entered the country a third time; she was arrested, processed and removed March 11, 2014.
In April 2006, she was convicted of theft. In May 2009, she was convicted of lewd, immoral, indecent conduct and prostitution. Both convictions were in Dallas. On Jan. 27, 2014, Hernandez was convicted of illegal entry.
Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been notified about this death, as have the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, ICE has notified the Consulate of Honduras in Houston, of Hernandez’s death, and Honduran consular officials will attempt to notify her next of kin.
Hernandez is the sixth detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2018, which began Oct. 1, 2017.
ICE’s Health Service Corps (IHSC) ensures the provision of necessary medical care services as required by ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards and based on the medical needs of the detainee. Comprehensive medical care is provided from the moment detainees arrive and throughout the entirety of their stay. All ICE detainees 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 daily sick call and 24-hour emergency care. Pursuant to our commitment to the welfare of those in the agency’s custody, ICE annually spends more than $250 million on the spectrum of healthcare services provided to detainees.