While ICE tries to protect us from dangerous criminals, the media wrongly accuses agency of killing detainees

· November 5, 2019  
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ICE arrest
Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post | Getty Images

We know the names of every illegal alien who dies of natural causes in federal custody. But the media ensure we don’t know the names of the thousands upon thousands of people who die at the hands of illegal aliens thanks to sanctuary cities.

It’s quite an arduous task for the media to defend the movement to abolish ICE, thereby retaining millions of other countries’ criminals in addition to our own. Therefore, they must resort to political debates focused on sob stories of aliens in exigent circumstances. After all, why discuss the two million criminal aliens fueling the drug and gang crisis, not to mention identity theft, when you can focus on illegal aliens dying in ICE custody?

The latest attack on ICE comes from USA Today’s Alan Gomez, who published an article yesterday titled, “Migrant in ICE custody removed from life support over family’s objections.”

“An asylum-seeking migrant detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement was pulled off life support after his relatives said they requested that doctors continue the lifesaving measures,” began the report from USA Today. The detainee was being held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego.

It continues:

More than a month later, the man’s body remains in the USA, his relatives said they have been given little information about his death, and his brother has twice been denied a visa to travel to the USA to identify the body and accompany it back home to Cameroon.

Nebane Abienwi, 37, a father of six who fled his embattled country this summer, died Oct. 1 after suffering a “medical emergency” while being detained at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in San Diego, according to ICE.

You can just conjure up images of ICE stormtroopers with satanic looks on their faces pulling the plug in the hospital room and then locking up the body for a month while engaging in demonic rituals.

In reality, ICE goes out of its way to provide free medical care for people who broke our laws, often over and beyond what Americans would receive. There are no referrals or waiting lines. ICE contracts with medical services and hospitals to provide the care on taxpayer dime to the tune of $260 million per year. In the case of Abienwi, he did not die in an ICE facility, rather in a local hospital, which is what one would expect. The best ICE can do is hand people off to the hospitals. There obviously is no guarantee a patient will always survive.

“The authority to make medical decisions lies with the hospital once a detainee is admitted,” said an ICE spokeswoman in a statement. “ICE works with the family to the extent possible to ensure they can participate in decisions, and hospitals also have their own policies on identifying and working with next-of-kin. According to PBNDS [Performance-Based National Detention Standards] 2011 Standard 4.7, part V.A ‘… the hospital’s internal rules and procedures concerning seriously ill, injured and dying patients shall apply to detainees. The Field Office Director or designee shall immediately notify (or make reasonable efforts to notify) the detainee’s next-of-kin of the medical condition and status, the detainee’s location, and the visiting hours and rules at that location, in a language or manner which they can understand. ICE in conjunction with the medical provider, shall provide family members and any others as much opportunity for visitation as possible, in keeping with the safety, security and good order of the facility.’”



People often forget that hundreds of thousands of inmates pass through ICE facilities every year. After all, we have a lot of illegal immigration and criminal aliens slated for deportation. Unfortunately, basic statistics dictate that a certain number of people will pass away suddenly. ICE has no ability to control hospital policies for aliens more than American families do for their loved ones being treated there.

USA Today devoted just one line to giving the other side of the story – that “the ultimate decision on how to treat each detainee is in the hands of hospital staff, the agency said.” Instead, the story goes on to describe this man as the ninth migrant to die this month, insinuating again that there is some sort of problem with ICE’s standard of medical care.

But there is no focus whatsoever on those who are harmed by illegal aliens. As I’ve reported before, the ICE mortality rate is much lower than that of state and federal prisons. While the number of detainees for fiscal year 2019 is not published yet, in FY 2018 when a total of nine detainees died, 396,000 people were detained. That is a mortality rate of approximately 2.25 deaths per 100,000 persons.

The context that this article refused to provide is that according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the mortality rate in state prisons in 2014 was 34 per 100,000 for those aged 18-24 and 54 per 100,000 for those aged 25-34. And, in general, ICE deals with a sicker population of people who are coming from countries with a lower standard of health care. One is more likely to die driving to an ICE facility in a car accident than in a facility.

While ICE can’t perform miracles and somehow do a better job resuscitating people than the local hospital, you know what it can do? Take all known foreign national criminals off our hands so they don’t needlessly murder other people. The sanctuary cities that harbor those criminal aliens, of which up to 80 percent are likely to offend repeatedly, are the ones who are needlessly costing lives. Yet we never hear about these cases from the media. One such case? Jose Barajas-Diaz in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

Barajas-Diaz was arrested January 29, 2019, by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for driving while impaired, driving without a license, and felony death by motor vehicle. Diaz made a sudden U-turn into oncoming traffic, hitting the motorcycle of Miguel Angel Linarte Jacome, who was dragged under the truck and decapitated as a result of the force and entanglement. This is a victim you will never read about in the big national publications.

ICE issued a detainer the very next day, but it was ignored. Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden terminated the 287(g) program when he took office and stopped cooperating with federal officials. Now, this county has become a haven for dangerous criminal aliens.

Barajas-Diaz was convicted of felony death by motor vehicle on October 24, 2019, but in the growing spirit of jailbreak, he was given a five-year suspended sentence with credit for time served. According to ICE, “the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office then refused to honor the ICE detainer and instead released him back into the community.” Thank God ICE was able to locate him on November 1 and he is now in custody.

We know the name of every person who dies of natural causes in ICE’s custody. We will never know is the names of the countless thousands of people who die needlessly as a result of sanctuary cities harboring recidivist criminals from other countries. It takes a miracle to bring someone back to life, but it takes nothing more than a moral compass not to release dangerous criminal aliens onto the streets.


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.