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Probe Urged After Death of Man Deported from NW Detention Center


Friday, June 28, 2019   

TACOMA, Wash. – An immigrants' rights group is calling for an investigation of the Northwest Detention Center after the death of a man recently deported from the facility.

Jose Martin Delgado Jaimes was detained in March 2018 and deported in April 2019 to Mexico City, where he died from kidney disease complications this week. Jaimes, who had been a permanent resident in the U.S. for 35 years, had received dialysis while in detention.

Maru Mora Villalpando, a community organizer with La Resistencia, says he filed several complaints with Immigration and Customs Enforcement for not receiving the proper diet for his medical condition. She says other detainees have complained about similar treatment.

"They don't get the medical care that they require while in detention,” she says. “And when they ask for that, they're told that it's expensive, that that's not what they do at the detention center, and especially when their situation worsens, that's when we notice a pattern of quick deportations."

Jaimes, who was 54 when he died, told Villalpando he was detained in a holding cell for hours after his dialysis treatments. Villalpando's group is demanding an investigation of NWDC and its treatment of people with medical needs.

ICE did not have a comment by the deadline for this story. U.S. Department of Homeland Security leaders have said their detention centers have some of highest standards in the world.

Villalpando says detainees at NWDC also have complained about the quality of food served there, but are wary to speak out for fear of retaliation. She says conditions for children at the border are comparable to those in detention centers.

"We've seen what is happening at the border with the children, and we have said again and again, what is happening to all these children is nothing but the extension of what's happening to adults,” she says. “Everything that is being done to children right now, it started with adults in places such as NWDC."

She adds there is a "GoFundMe" campaign to raise money and bring Jaimes' body back to the U.S., where his five children live. La Resistencia also is asking the city of Tacoma to hold NWDC accountable for conditions there.

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