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Man dies at Chula Vista hospital while in ICE custody, agency investigating

ICE raids Texas business and detains more than 100 people
Posted at 4:47 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 19:47:04-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement is investigating after a man died while in the agency’s custody.

According to ICE, the 37-year-old Cameroon man, identified as Nebane Abienwi, died at Sharp’s Chula Vista Medical Center Tuesday.

Abienwi was taken to the hospital in the middle of the night on September 26 to undergo treatment for a brain hemorrhage.

According to the agency, medical staff at the center provided treatment after Abienwi remained unresponsive to questions and appeared to be paralyzed on his left side. He remained in the hospital until his death.

According to records, Abienwi applied for entry into the U.S. without proper entry documents on September 5. On September 19, he was transferred into ICE custody.

ICE released the following statement Wednesday night:

ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases. Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a small fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole.

This agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership to include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.

Comprehensive medical care is provided to all individuals in ICE custody. Staffing for detainees includes registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, licensed mental health providers, mid-level providers like physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and a physician.

Detainees also have access to dental care and 24-hour emergency care. Pursuant to its commitment to the welfare of those in the agency’s custody, ICE spends more than $260 million annually on the spectrum of healthcare services provided to detainees.