ATLANTA – A Cuban national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) died Tuesday night at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
Yulio Castro-Garrido, 33, was transported Jan. 7 to Southwest Regional Medical Center (SWRMC) in Cuthbert, Ga. after ICE Health Service Corps (ISHC) medical personnel at the Stewart Detention Center (SDC) in Lumpkin, Ga. diagnosed him with pneumonia.
After diagnosis, Mr. Castro didn’t respond well to medically administered treatments, which caused his condition to worsen. On Jan. 9, IHSC staff coordinated the transfer of Castro to the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH) in Albany, Ga. where he was placed on a ventilator to stabilize him.
On Jan. 17, PPMH transported Mr. Castro to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for additional treatment. Mr. Castro slipped into a coma Jan. 22 and never regained consciousness.
Consistent with agency protocols, next of kin and appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been notified about the death, as have the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, ICE will also notify the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC.
ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive 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 rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole. This agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership to include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.
Mr. Castro entered ICE custody on Nov. 24, following his transfer from the D. Ray James Federal Correctional Institute in Folkston, Ga. Castro was convicted Dec 8, 2016 of conspiracy to transport and move an undocumented alien within the United States by means of transportation and sentenced to a year and one day of confinement and three years of supervised probation. Animmigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review ordered Castro to be removed to Cuba Jan. 4; Mr. Castro waived his right to appeal.
Mr. Castro is the second detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2018.
Editor’s Note: This release was updated to indicate, based on initial reviews, that Mr. Castro did not refuse medical treatment, rather his case was resistant to some forms of medical intervention.