Cameroonian Man Dies in San Diego Immigration Detention Center
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Nebane Abienwi had been in ICE custody for just under two weeks before he died on October 1st.

There have been so many horror stories from the US's southern border lately and it seems to only be getting worse. Earlier this week, a Cameroonian man died in the custody of US Immigraton and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 37-years-old, Nebane Abienwi first entered the US on September 5th at the San Ysidro port of entry. Upon entry, Abienwi did not have the proper papers and was transferred to ICE detention center Otay Mesa in San Diego on September 19th. He was pronounced dead on October 1st.


The Huffington Post reports that Abienwi was underwent a spike in blood pressure that could result in a stroke–called a "hypertensive event"–during the night on September 25th. He was sent to Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in the morning. Buzzfeed news reports that doctors deemed him unresponsive to questions and seemingly paralyzed on his left side, so they began treatment. He was kept at the hospital until he died on Tuesday. His cause of death is cited in the ICE news release as "brain death secondary to a basal ganglia hemorrhage." The news release also states that Abienwi's next kin and the Cameroonian Consulate General have been notified.

Buzzfeed reports that this is the first death in ICE custody in the 2020 fiscal year, which began on Tuesday. There were eight deaths total last year with the most recent occurring on September 10th, as per the LA Times.

News of the death came on the same day it was announced that the Trump administration is planning to take DNA samples of detained immigrants who arrive without documentation, as Abienwi did. The plan is controversial as opposers believe the government should not be able to procure such information from people who have not committed any crimes. Buzzfeed reports that White House officials say the DNA could be used in a database to help immigration offices discover previous criminal acts of potential immigrants. Civil liberties groups, however, feel that it is a violation of personal privacy and an overstep by the government. It is not yet certain when the collections will be formally announced, after that they will pend a 60-day public comment period.

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