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.

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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.

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.