A Guatemalan Woman Marks 8th Death in 5 Months in ICE Custody

Illustration for article titled A Guatemalan Woman Marks 8th Death in 5 Months in ICE Custody
Photo: Mark Ralston (AFP via Getty Images)

ICE seems devoted to proving it is one of the worst organizations in the American government. ICE is not a punitive organization. There is no reason anyone should be dying in their facilities. Especially someone who was coming to this country to seek asylum.


NBC News reports that 22-year-old Maria Celeste Ochoa Yoc de Ramirez died in Fort Worth, Texas while in ICE custody on Sunday. This is the eighth death since ICE’s fiscal year began in October. It’s only been five months and they’ve already matched the number of the deaths that occurred in ICE custody over the last fiscal year. Ramirez had been hospitalized since February 28 and according to ICE, her death was the result of “autoimmune hepatitis, complicated by septic shock and acute liver failure.” She had been hospitalized throughout February for a variety of medical procedures and at one point, surgery. ICE did not disclose what procedures or surgery Ramirez underwent.

Border Patrol captured Ochoa in Hidalgo as she attempted to cross the border near Hidalgo. She was taken into ICE custody on September 6 as an asylum seeker. After passing her “credible fear interview” she was put through immigration proceedings.

Ochoa’s death comes amidst an ongoing investigation by Congress into ICE’s medical practices. The investigation was opened as a result of a whistleblower who outed poor medical conditions for people in ICE custody.

You would think that a Congressional investigation would be enough to make ICE think about getting its shit together but nope. The brazen manner in which they ignore the humanity of detainees is disturbing. I hope the end result of the congressional investigation is far more oversight of ICE operations. People should not be dying in ICE custody, point-blank. I just hope that something is done before the death toll goes up yet again.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.



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