Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ACLU Seeks Investigation of Salvadoran Immigrant’s Death (EFE c/o Latin American Herald Tribune)

ACLU Seeks Investigation of Salvadoran Immigrant’s Death

ATLANTA – The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has asked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a Salvadoran immigrant who was being held at a detention center.

“We’re asking for an investigation. We want answers so we know why he died and what caused his death,” the ACLU’s Azadeh Shahshahani told Efe.

Miguel Hernandez died in late April while he was in ICE custody at the North Georgia Detention Center in Gainsville, north of Atlanta.

The 54-year-old Salvadoran, who was locked up awaiting deportation, died from a blood disorder, officials said.

“As part of a policy regarding the death of any detainee, a study is being made of the circumstances of Mr. Hernandez’s death,” ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennett told Efe.

Authorities said that before he died the detainee had been taken to a clinic to be treated for a blood clot, but that after he returned to the detention center his state of health declined and he died.

Hernandez had been in ICE custody since April 27 after being detained by police in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lived.

The Salvadoran is the eighth fatality to occur in ICE custody in the United States during fiscal year 2011, which began last Oct. 1.

The ACLU held a vigil Monday night outside the detention center where Hernandez passed away in honor of his memory and to demand an explanation of why he died.

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