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Enforcement and Removal
03/23/2020

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Mexican man in ICE custody passes away in Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A Mexican man in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) at the Port Isabel Detention Center (PIDC) in Los Fresnos, Texas, died Saturday at an area hospital.

Ramiro Hernandez-Ibarra, 42, was pronounced dead at 5:46 a.m. local time by medical professionals at the Valley Baptist Medical Center, in Harlingen, Texas, where he had been hospitalized since March 19, 2020.

The preliminary cause of death was listed as complications related to septic shock.

Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate agencies have been notified about the death, including the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Additionally, ICE has notified the Mexican consulate and Hernandez-Ibarra’s next of kin.

ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide 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 national average for the U.S. detained population.

The agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership, including Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA).

On Dec. 21, 2019, Hernandez-Ibarra was encountered by ICE at the Hidalgo County Jail in Edinburg, Texas, where he was serving a sentence for a domestic violence conviction. On Jan. 15, he entered ICE custody and was taken to PIDC. Hernandez-Ibarra was voluntarily returned to Mexico eight times, beginning in 1999. Initial records checks indicate his criminal history included a federal conviction for illegal entry, and state convictions for domestic assault and driving under the influence.

At the time of his death, Hernandez-Ibarra was awaiting removal proceedings.

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.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/23/2020