An immigration lawyer has made the drastic claim that an immigrant child died in an ICE detention center due to “negligent care,” but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied the accusation, calling the reports “false” on Twitter, reports IBT.
According to immigration lawyer Mana Yegani, who broke the news first on Twitter, a child died while in custody of ICE in Dilley, Texas. Although she claimed to have had no direct contact from the victim’s family, she said her friend, who is also an attorney, knows the family well and informed her about the child’s death. According to her friend attorney Melissa Lynn, who is constantly in touch with the victim’s family, a young girl died at the Dilley Family Detention Center in south Texas “as a result of possible negligent care and a respiratory illness she contracted from one of the other children.”
The claims have not been verified by an independent source as of now, but at the time of writing, reporters are trying to reach out to the reported victim’s grandmother, who resides in New Jersey.
After reports of the child dying went public, ICE came out with a terse response on its Twitter page, terming them “false.”
This is a statement from the attorney who informed me of this tragic death. She a friend of the victim’s family and she is the one in touch with them. I don’t have any direct contact with the victim’s family. See below the image of her message that was posted on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/ISOCRQBend— Mana Yegani (@Law_Mana) August 1, 2018
Reports that a child died in ICE custody at Dilley are false.— ICE (@ICEgov) August 1, 2018
The reports and the resulting denial have created a huge furor on social media. While lawyer Mana Yegani continues to assert that a young girl has died in Texas, ICE’s ice-cold response to the whole situation has inflamed social media users who argue that the department should be more accountable in light of such accusations. Some users maintained that the report is unconfirmed and as a result ICE should not be condemned just yet, but others claimed that the department has lost its credibility already after having made contradictory statements about children being separated from their families in the last couple of months.
“You [ICE] previously denied that children were being separated and then reversed yourself. You are not credible,” one user hit back on the social media site.
We’ll have to wait for confirmed reports to know what’s the truth, but in case Mana Yegani is right about the death of a child, it would lead to a massively problematic situation for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is already facing a lot of criticism for its implementation of Donald Trump’s immigration policy. ICE has faced overwhelming protests in the last few weeks, with many protesters demanding ICE’s abolishment altogether, and those protests will strike up a notch if the department is shown to have been responsible for the death of a child.