58-year-old Indian who entered US ‘illegally’ dies in ICE custody

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Atul Kumar Babubhai Patel came to Atlanta via Ecuador dies of heart failure

A 58-year-old Indian national, who allegedly entered the United States illegally last week, died under the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at an Atlanta hospital.

According to an official press release of the ICE, Atul Kumar Babubhai Patel, who was taken into custody two days ago, died due to congestive heart failure on Wednesday.

Patel, who landed at the Atlanta airport on May 10 onboard a flight from Quito, Ecuador, was detailed by the customs and immigration officers, as he failed to provide necessary immigration documents.

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On Thursday, May 11, ICE officials transferred Patel to its Atlanta Detention Center from where he received primary medical checkup. The results had indicated that Patel suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure.

A nurse that did the medical checkup of Patel on Saturday noticed that he had breathing trouble and was immediately moved to the Grady Memorial Hospital for further diagnosis and treatment.

According to the ICE press release, the agency has followed all protocols, and all appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been notified about the death. The agency also said that it has informed the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility about the incident.

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“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 release said.

“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. This agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership to include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor,” the release adds.

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Patel is the eighth detainee to die under the custody of the ICE during this fiscal year.

ICE officials have informed the Indian consular representatives about the tragedy, who notified Patel’s family about his death.