Man held by ICE dies in suspected suicide

A Mexican man being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since March was found dead in his cell in Georgia on Tuesday, and officials believe he killed himself.

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan: Dems' 'abolish ICE' push is the 'craziest position'

Efrain De La Rosa, 40, was the eighth person to die in ICE custody in fiscal year 2018, the agency said.

De La Rosa was found unresponsive in his cell at Stewart Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, at 10:38 p.m., CPR was performed but he could not be revived, and he was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:29 p.m., ICE said in a statement Thursday.

"The preliminary cause of death appears to be self-inflicted strangulation; however, the case is currently under investigation," the agency said in a statement.

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'Tent city' for immigrant children separated from parents in Texas
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'Tent city' for immigrant children separated from parents in Texas
Raymondville, UNITED STATES: A futuristic USD 65 million tent city designed to hold about 2,000 illegal immigrants is pictured 10 April 2006 in Raymondville, Texas. The newly-constructed barbed-wire enclosed camp in the Rio Grande Valley will hold illegal immigrants for weeks to years until they can be returned to their home countires by US officials. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are shown walking in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are shown walking in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. Picture taken June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The inside of a dormitory at the Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., June 14, 2018. ACF/HHS/Handout via REUTERS Picture taken June 14, 2018. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, walk in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are shown walking in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., June 14, 2018. ACF/HHS/Handout via REUTERS Picture taken June 14, 2018. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents by the Department of Homeland Security next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are shown walking in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., June 14, 2018. ACF/HHS/Handout via REUTERS Picture taken June 14, 2018. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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The man was first taken into ICE custody on March 11 in Wake County, North Carolina, following a conviction two days earlier for felony larceny, and he was in the process of being removed from the country, the statement said.

"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," the agency said.

ICE said that the Mexican consulate has been notified, and officials have notified De La Rosa's next of kin.

The agency said that "fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole."

In May of 2017, a Panamanian man who was in ICE custody at Stewart Detention Facility hanged himself in his cell. Jean Jimenez-Joseph, 27, was also in immigration removal proceedings following a January conviction for felony larceny of a motor vehicle, ICE said at the time.

Some Democrats have called for the abolition of ICE, in part over criticism of immigration enforcement policies under the Trump administration. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., one of the most prominent "abolish ICE" lawmakers, has said she doesn't think the agency is working as intended, and that "it has become a deportation force."

The agency was founded in 2003 in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, when the Immigration and Naturalization Services was split up and the Department of Homeland Security was created.

 

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