51-year-old Kuan Hui Lee died Wednesday of “massive intercranial hemorrhage” at the Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami, a week after officers at ICE’s Krome Processing Center found him unresponsive, the agency said.
Lee, originally from Taiwan, had been in ICE custody for more than six months, according to the press release. U.S. Border Patrol officers arrested him on Jan. 23 for overstaying his temporary visa, which expired in 2004, ICE said.
Separately Wednesday, James Thomas Hill, a 72-year-old Canadian at the Farmville Detention Center in Virginia, also died, an ICE spokesperson confirmed to HuffPost.
The spokesperson declined to specify a cause of death, though noted in an emailed release that Hill had tested positive for COVID-19. Hill was hospitalized on July 10 after reporting shortness of breath.
At least three migrants are confirmed to have died from COVID-19 while in ICE custody, not counting the suspected coronavirus death of Hill on Wednesday.
Farmville has 290 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the second-highest of all ICE facilities. There are currently 917 confirmed positive cases in the system overall ― and that’s almost assuredly an undercount.
Emails obtained by The Los Angeles Times last month show ICE has deliberately limited COVID-19 testing in at least one California facility. Staff there feared it would be too difficult to quarantine those who tested positive, so they pushed back on carrying out the tests.
“ICE disregards the safety and wellbeing of people in its custody resulting in deadly consequences,” said Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, in an emailed statement to HuffPost. “Despite countless calls to free people from detention amid the rising rates of COVID-19 infection, ICE has done nothing — ICE is complicit in this...