Things That Matter

ICE Confirms That A Mexican Man Has Died Of Cardiac Arrest While In Their Custody And How Does This Keep Happening

We often hear of children dying while in ICE custody. But adult migrants are also dying while being detained by the US government. And the latest victim is a 44-year-old Mexican national who died at a hospital in Georgia.

Official cause of death has been listed as cardiac arrest but he was also complaining of abdominal pain – which is what he was initially taken into the hospital for.

Pedro Arriago-Santoya, a detained migrant from Mexico, has died at a Georgia hospital while in ICE custody.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

The Mexican national died at Piedmont Midtown Medical Center in Columbus, 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.

On June 6, he had been ordered deported by an immigration judge and was sent to Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.

The man is at least the 7th victim to die while in ICE custody since October.

Credit: @lesleyabravanel / Twitter

Although there have been several reported deaths of migrant children while in ICE custody, adult migrants have also fallen victim to the system.

Arraigo-Santoyo is just the latest victim to die, in part, thanks to Trump’s inhumane immigration policies.

The man had been detained at the Stewart Facility, which had become infamous for safety concerns.

Credit: @Haleaziz / Twitter

Last year, federal investigators found that the Stewart Detention Center has seen incidents of drug smuggling, medical staff shortages, and safety issues, according to documents first published by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Atlanta radio station WABE.

According to officials, the man died of cardiac arrest after arriving at the hospital.

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

On July 20, he was taken to a local hospital after complaining of abdominal pain. Two days later, he went into cardiac arrest and was placed on a ventilator and moved to the intensive care ward, where he remained comatose until he went into cardiac arrest again on Wednesday.

Many hoped that the Mexican government would demand an independent inquiry so we can have a clearer picture of what really happened.

Credit: @LoriBezahler / Twitter

Given the lack of information and sometimes conflicting information the public gets from ICE and Border Patrol, many are skeptical of their responses.

While some on Twitter demanded hearings immediately.

Credit: @Haleaziz / Twitter

Several of the victims who have died while in ICE custody have been dying of preventable or treatable illnesses. Many pointed out that children shouldn’t be dying of the flu with all the medical resources we have available in the US.

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Biden Nominates Texas Sheriff Ed Gonzalez To Lead ICE And Here’s Why That Matters

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Biden Nominates Texas Sheriff Ed Gonzalez To Lead ICE And Here’s Why That Matters

For years now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been enforcing cruel and, in many opinions, illegal immigration policies that have affected the most vulnerable among us. And they’ve been doing it without a permanent leader who can be held accountable.

The Trump administration relied on interim leaders and deputy secretaries to head the sprawling and powerful agency. Now, President Biden has nominated a frequent outspoken Trump critic to lead the agency and many are hopeful there could be real change.

The White House has nominated Texas sheriff Ed Gonzalez to lead ICE.

President Joe Biden has nominated a Texas sheriff, Ed Gonzalez, to lead ICE. Gonzalez has been the sheriff of Harris County (parts of Houston, TX) since 2017, leading the state’s largest sheriffs department. He has led a team of 5,000 employees in the position and previously served 18 years with the Houston Police Department, rising to the rank of sergeant, according to his profile on his office’s website.

Gonzalez has also been a vocal critic of elements of former President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement policies.

Gonzalez is the second such critic to be selected by Biden for a senior position in the Department of Homeland Security, following the nomination two weeks ago of Tucson, AZ., Police Chief Chris Magnus to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Gonzalez has long been a voice of reason within law enforcement leading many to be hopeful for change.

During his first term as sheriff Gonzalez ended a program with ICE that trained 10 Harris County deputies to determine the immigration status of prisoners, and hold for deportation those in the country illegally.

As sheriff he also opposed Texas legislation requiring local law enforcement to determine individuals’ immigration status, according to The Texas Tribune. The legislation was viewed as targeting so-called “sanctuary cities.” Gonzalez, like many in law enforcement, said the approach would destroy trust and make their job protecting communities more difficult.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas praised Biden’s pick in a statement Tuesday.

“Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is a strong choice for ICE Director,” Mayorkas said. “With a distinguished career in law enforcement and public service, Sheriff Gonzalez is well-suited to lead ICE as the agency advances our public safety and homeland security mission. I hope the Senate will swiftly confirm Sheriff Gonzalez to this critical position.”

ICE has long been missing a permanent director to lead the agency.

Gonzales would succeed Tae Johnson, who has been serving as acting ICE director since Jan. 13. He previously served as the agency’s deputy director.

ICE has not had a permanent director since 2017. The agency operated with five acting directors under the Trump administration. This comes as the Biden administration has faced challenges at the border, including a surge of unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S.

The announcement of Gonzalez’s nomination comes on the heels of another major announcement from DHS. Mayorkas also announced Tuesday that he has directed ICE and Customs and Border Protection to place new limits on civil immigration enforcement actions in or near courthouses.

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Mexicans Travel To U.S. For ‘Vaccine Tourism’ Say It’s A Matter Of Survival

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Mexicans Travel To U.S. For ‘Vaccine Tourism’ Say It’s A Matter Of Survival

The United States is one of the world’s most successful countries when it comes to rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine program. So far, more than 200 million vaccines have been administered across the U.S. and as of this week anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible.

Meanwhile, in many countries around the world – including Mexico – the vaccine roll out is still highly restricted. For many, who can afford to travel, they see the best option at a shot in the arm to take a trip to the U.S. where many locations are reporting a surplus in vaccines.

Wealthy Latin Americans travel to U.S. to get COVID vaccines.

People of means from Latin America are chartering planes, booking commercial flights, buying bus tickets and renting cars to get the vaccine in the United States due to lack of supply back in their home countries. Some of those making the trip include politicians, TV personalities, business executives and a soccer team.

There is an old Mexican joke: God tells a Mexican he has only a week left to live but can ask for one final wish, no matter how outrageous. So the Mexican asks for a ticket to Houston—for a second opinion.

Virginia Gónzalez and her husband flew from Mexico to Texas and then boarded a bus to a vaccination site. They made the trip again for a second dose. The couple from Monterrey, Mexico, acted on the advice of the doctor treating the husband for prostate cancer. In all, they logged 1,400 miles for two round trips.

“It’s a matter of survival,” Gónzalez told NBC News, of getting a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. “In Mexico, officials didn’t buy enough vaccines. It’s like they don’t care about their citizens.”

Mexico has a vaccine rollout plan but it’s been too slow in many people’s opinions.

With a population of nearly 130 million people, Mexico has secured more vaccines than many Latin American nations — about 18 million doses as of Monday from the U.S., China, Russia and India. Most of those have been given to health care workers, people over 60 and some teachers, who so far are the only ones eligible. Most other Latin American countries, except for Chile, are in the same situation or worse.

So vaccine seekers who can afford to travel are coming to the United States to avoid the long wait, including people from as far as Paraguay. Those who make the trip must obtain a tourist visa and have enough money to pay for required coronavirus tests, plane tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and other expenses.

There is little that is fair about the global race for the COVID-19 vaccine, despite international attempts to avoid the current disparities. In Israel, a country of 9 million people, half of the population has received at least one dose, while plenty of countries have yet to receive any. While the U.S. could vaccinate 70 percent of its population by September 2021 at the current rollout rate, it could take Mexico until approximately the year 2024 to achieve the same results.

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