FLORENCE – A Mexican national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Florence Service Processing Center (SPC) passed away Wednesday morning after efforts by medical staff and local paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful. An autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of death.
Following his release from the Maricopa County Jail on February 26, 2019, Abel Reyes-Clemente, 54, was transferred to ICE custody after serving jail time on a misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence. Relevant records indicate Mr. Reyes had been repatriated five times, most recently in 2008.
On April 1, 2019, Mr. Reyes was placed into medical observation at the SPC after presenting signs and symptoms of influenza. On April 3, 2019, at 6:12 a.m., facility personnel found Mr. Reyes unresponsive and not breathing, and alerted the ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) medical staff. IHSC responded, began life-saving efforts and contacted local paramedics. Upon arrival, the paramedics continued attempts to revive Mr. Reyes, and contacted doctors at the Mountain Vista Medical Center (MVMC). At 6:33 a.m., MVMC declared Mr. Reyes deceased.
Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been advised about the death, as have the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, ICE has notified the Mexican Consulate of Mr. Reyes’s death.
Mr. Reyes is the fourth detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2019.
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.