A recent TYT Investigates article by Ken Klippenstein reveals that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has quietly stopped updating its page titled “List of Deaths in ICE Custody.” The list reports deaths going back to 2003 but seemingly has not been updated since 2017, with the last death listed as Vicente Cáceres-Maradiaga, a Honduran man who died in May of 2017.
The finding comes just weeks after TYT discovered ICE documents that reveal multiple ICE detainee deaths that were avoidable, which prompted several statements from members of Congress expressing concern about ICE’s conduct.
As The Inquisitr reported, an NBC analysis of federal data suggests that 24 deaths in ICE custody have occurred since President Donald Trump took office as well as four more that took place shortly after the detainees were released from ICE custody. Of course, this is still less than the peak, which was 34 during 2004 — the first full year the agency began keeping records.
Regardless, the deaths under the Trump administration come as the total number of immigrants going through ICE hits a record high. As of June, ICE was reportedly detaining over 52,500 immigrants daily through more than 200 detention centers across the United States. The average number of individuals going through detention centers was much lower during the Obama administration — about 34,000.
ICE quietly stopped updating its official “List of Deaths in ICE Custody” page, which had published deaths since the agency’s inception in 2003.— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) June 17, 2019
My latest for @tytinvestigates https://t.co/nw2hKLnoTm pic.twitter.com/dmgkHoDfpZ
“Deaths in ICE custody remain ‘exceedingly rare,'” an ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennett told NBC News via a prepared statement.
“[ICE] takes very seriously the health, safety and welfare of those in our care, including those who come into ICE custody with prior medical conditions or who have never before received appropriate medical care. Any death that happens in ICE custody is a cause for concern.”
But in December, an ICE supervisor sent an internal memo to director Matthew Albence, claiming that the agency’s internal medical services provider, ICE Health Service Corps, was “severely dysfunctional” and warned that it would result in harm.
ICE has received backlash from many in the public arena following recent reports on the agency, including Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel.
“America’s gestapo continue their steady march towards extermination,” he said on Twitter in response to Klippenstein’s article.
“We can’t turn a blind eye to it. @SpeakerPelosi is complicit if she does not immediately use every power the House has to close these camps and this agency, then begin investigations.”
Fellow presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren also criticized ICE facilities for their failure to protect detainees and highlighted that for-profit companies run many of them.