An Indian-American man died on Tuesday afternoon in the custody of the US immigration officials at an Atlanta hospital.
Identified as Atul Kumar Babubhai Patel, Patel was detained by the American customs officials last week for allegedly not possessing necessary immigration documents while entering the country. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took Patel into custody at the Atlanta City Detention Center for two days. The officials stated that the preliminary cause of his demise as complications from congestive heart failure.
On May 10, Patel arrived at the Atlanta airport on a flight from Ecuador. Subsequently, the US Customs and Border Protection denied his entry into the country as he did not possess the necessary immigration documents. He was then transferred to the custody of the ICE, where he received an initial medical screening and was found to have high blood pressure and diabetes.
On Saturday, two days after being in the ICE custody, a nurse checking Patel’s blood sugar noticed he had a breathing problem following which he was shifted to a hospital where he passed away. The immigration department said it is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is “undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of the incident, as it does in all such cases”.
The agency has informed the Indian consular representatives who informed Mr Patel’s family about his death.The fatalities in its custody are “exceedingly rare” and occur at a fraction of the rate of the US detained population as a whole, added the agency.
Patel is the eighth such individual who died in the custody of ICE the fiscal year 2017.