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A Mexican Man Has Died In ICE Custody. He’s The 8th Death In US Custody This Year.

The 37-year-old Mexican man had been in ICE custody in Illinois since Sept. 3.

Last updated on September 11, 2019, at 8:56 p.m. ET

Posted on September 11, 2019, at 4:14 p.m. ET

Handout / Reuters

ICE officers carry out a raid in San Francisco in July.

A 37-year-old Mexican man died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody on Tuesday, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

ICE officials confirmed the news on Thursday, a day after BuzzFeed News first reported the death.

The man had been in ICE custody since Sept. 3 at the McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility in Woodstock, Illinois.

They identified the man as Roberto Rodriguez-Espinoza and said the preliminary cause of death was subdural hematoma.

“On the day of his arrest, during his intake screening, Rodriguez-Espinoza admitted to daily consumption of alcohol,” read an ICE statement on the death. “On Sept. 7, facility staff observed Rodriguez-Espinoza acting confused and the facility’s physician ordered Rodriguez-Espinoza transported to the Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital emergency room in Woodstock, Illinois, for further evaluation due to his confusion and history of alcohol consumption.”

He was taken to local hospitals where he was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage and died on Tuesday.

“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,” the statement read. “Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a small fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole.”

The agency said the man was a “documented Latin Kings gang member with a 2016 burglary conviction and 2008 theft conviction, in Chicago and placed him into custody.”

The death is the eighth in ICE custody this fiscal year.

In August, the Trump administration transferred $116 million from other agencies within DHS, including $3.4 million in additional funds from FEMA, to ICE to pay for additional detention beds and transportation costs. ICE had been funded to detain an average of just over 42,000 people, but is expecting to reach an average daily population of 50,000 people by the end of the fiscal year in September. As of the end of August, ICE was detaining nearly 53,000 individuals in local and private jails across the country.

Advocates and experts believe the increase has been driven by the agency detaining individuals who could otherwise be released, while agency officials say an increase in border crossings has forced their hand.

In late July, a Mexican national died in ICE custody at a medical center in Columbus, Georgia, with staff there identifying his preliminary cause of death as cardio-pulmonary arrest. Secondary causes of death were listed as multi-organ system failure; endocarditis, or an infection of the inner linings of the heart; diluted cardiomyopathy, or a reduced ability by the heart to pump blood; and respiratory failure.

"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," said ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox at the time. "Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a small fraction of the rate of the US detained population as a whole."

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