ALBUQUERQUE — A 40-year-old native of Angola and citizen of France in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) died Sunday at the Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of death.
Samuelino Pitchout Mavinga was pronounced dead by medical staff at the hospital at approximately 12:20 p.m. The preliminary cause of death was identified as cardiac arrest.
Mavinga was transported to the hospital on Dec. 12 for treatment and evaluation of emaciation, altered mental status, and possible sepsis. Presbyterian Hospital diagnosed Mavinga with sigmoid volvulus (twisting of the large intestines causing a bowel obstruction).
According to DHS records, Mavinga was admitted into the United States on Nov. 28, 2018, by immigration officials at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City under the Visa Waiver Program. Under the program, he was required to depart the U.S. no later than Feb. 27, 2019.
On Nov. 11, 2019, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) officers encountered Mavinga at a USBP checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas; he was taken into USBP custody for remaining in the United States for a period longer than authorized.
Mavinga was transferred into ICE custody on Nov. 12; he was detained at the Otero County Processing Center, in Chaparral, New Mexico, pending his removal from the United States.
On Dec. 11, Mavinga was transferred to the Torrance Country Detention Facility (TCDF) in Estancia, New Mexico. The next day he was transported to the Presbyterian Hospital for medical treatment where he remained until the time of his death.
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 General of France in Washington D.C.; French consular officials have notified Mavinga’s next of kin.
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 $269 million on the spectrum of healthcare services provided to detainees.