Nicaraguan Man Dies While In Border Patrol Custody In Arizona

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the 52-year-old man was among 36 migrants from Central America who surrendered at the border in Arizona.

A Nicaraguan man who was in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody died early Friday morning, the agency reported.

The 52-year-old man was among 36 people from Central America who surrendered to Border Patrol agents west of Sasabe, Arizona, according to a CBP statement. Immigration officials were processing the group at a facility in Tuscon.

CBP said the man fell into “medical distress” and was rushed to the hospital. Efforts by emergency responders and CBP agents to revive him were unsuccessful, the statement said.

The agency did not provide the man’s name.

“The men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are saddened to report that a 52-year-old man from Nicaragua was pronounced deceased early this morning after he was rushed to the hospital,” the agency said. “Our condolences are with his family.”

The man’s death comes six days after another migrant, a man from Honduras, died while in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas. ICE officials found the Honduran man, 30-year-old Yimi Alexis Balderramons-Torres, unresponsive in his detention cell on Sunday. He was taken to a Houston hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

So far, 12 migrants have died in the custody of U.S. immigration officials, according to a tally by CNN.

Earlier Friday, President Donald Trump defended worsening conditions at U.S. detention centers near the border while speaking to reporters outside of the White House.

“I think the Border Patrol has done an incredible job,” Trump said.

The president also boasted about the overcrowded migrant detention centers, which have been at the center of several damning watchdog reports, and the agents who run them.

“I’ve seen some of those places, and they’re run beautifully. They’re clean, they’re good, they do a great job,” Trump said.

A portion of the border barrier at Nogales, Arizona.
A portion of the border barrier at Nogales, Arizona.

A report released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General detailed dirty, crowded and inhumane conditions at detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Included in the report was a photo taken at a detention center in Fort Brown Station in South Texas showing 88 men crowded into a room with a maximum capacity of 41. One man held a sign that read: “HELP 40 Days Here.” Another photo showed men, women and children crowded in a cage at a detention center in McAllen, Texas.

The inspector general’s office released a report in May describing conditions that left detainees in soiled clothing for weeks.

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