ELOY, Ariz. – A Mexican national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) passed away Wednesday evening at the agency’s detention center in Eloy due to unknown causes after being found unresponsive by facility personnel.
Jose de Jesus Deniz-Sahagun, 31, was transferred to ICE custody May 18 following his arrest three days earlier by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the port of entry in Douglas. Deniz was taken into custody by CBP officers after he ran into the pedestrian lane at the border crossing. Shortly after 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, the center’s staff found Deniz unresponsive in his cell. Efforts by Eloy personnel and emergency responders to revive him were unsuccessful. Deniz had no signs of apparent injury. An autopsy is pending.
ICE notified the Mexican Consulate and the Mexican Consulate apprised Deniz’s next of kin. Consistent with ICE protocol, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have also been informed.
Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Deniz has been repatriated to Mexico twice in the last four years, including an expedited removal in April 2013 following his arrest by the U.S. Border Patrol near Calexico, California. At the time of his death, Deniz was awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge on his pending removal case.
Deniz is the fourth detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2015.