Daughter Sues ICE After They Denied Father Cirrhosis And Diabetes Medication While In Detention Resulting In His Death
The U.S government is responsible for a growing number of undocumented adults and children dying in their custody. The reoccurring story of an undocumented person dying days or weeks after arriving in the U.S. shouldn’t be normalized. The startling factor is not just the recent deaths, but deaths of undocumented people that date back to 2017, wherein injustice and inhumane acts occurred at the hands of U.S. government agencies without the public knowing about it.
A lawsuit claims that ICE officials are responsible for the death of 43-year-old Carlos Bonilla who died while detained in Hudson County.
On April 1, 2017, Bonilla was detained in Long Island on a construction site. Bonilla and his brother owned a construction company and had lived in the U.S. for 25 years. He is originally from El Salvador.
When he entered the ICE Hudson County Correctional Facility, his family informed officials of Bonilla’s medical conditions. According to news reports, Bonilla had cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease, and diabetes. He was taking medication for both illnesses, but the family alleges that officials did not give him his medication while in detention.
“Mr. Bonilla died from complications of cirrhosis, a treatable condition (the defendants) knew about — but failed to evaluate and treat — despite their knowledge and Mr. Bonilla’s repeated requests for medical attention,” the lawsuit states, NJ.com reports.
Bonilla, a father to four children, began showing symptoms of complications two weeks after being admitted to the ICE facility.
The lawsuit states that medical officials tended to Bonilla on various dates from April 25 to June 7. Despite the medical attention, the lawsuit alleges that Bonilla was denied his medication, which resulted in days of distress, pain, and loss of blood. On the day of his death, Bonilla bled to death, the lawsuit states.
“While Bonilla was leaving his cell for his bond hearing on June 8, Hudson County Correctional Center allegedly called an emergency code at 4:38 a.m. after he started slurring his speech, stumbling to the floor, and reporting dizziness and diarrhea. He was transferred to Jersey City Medical Center about two hours later, where he was determined to have ‘blood in his stool, blood clots in his esophagus, abdominal pain’ along with ‘weakness’ and ‘dizziness,'” the Daily Beast reports.
“This unfortunate tragedy has resulted in many reforms at HCCC when it comes to the quality of care provided to inmates and detainees at the facility,” Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea said to NJ.com. “Particularly, now the director of corrections does not wait for pre-approval from ICE before sending detainees out to hospitals for procedures.”