Two ICE detainees have died in Georgia in the span of two days


Two people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have died in Georgia in the span of two days, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Atulkumar Babubhai Patel, a 58-year-old Indian national, died Tuesday of complications from congestive heart failure. He was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

"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," ICE said in a statement Wednesday.

David Zalubowski/AP

On Monday, a Panamanian national named Jean Jimenez-Joseph, 27, was found unresponsive with a sheet wrapped around his neck at the Stewart Detention Center, a private correctional facility in Stewart County, Georgia, WRBL reported. Jimenez-Joseph was in solitary confinement when he died by apparent suicide. He'd been in isolation for 19 days.

Both men were detained by ICE officials in the last two months. Jimenez-Joseph was picked up March 2 after being released from jail in Wake County, North Carolina, where he'd been convicted of felony larceny of a motor vehicle. He was in the midst of deportation proceedings when he died.

According to the AJC, Patel arrived in Atlanta May 10 on a flight from Quito, Ecuador. He was detained when he could not present the proper immigration documents. He had high blood pressure and diabetes, and was sent to the hospital Saturday after a nurse noticed he was short of breath.

Their deaths mark the latest grim chapter in President Donald Trump's war on immigrants. In January, Trump signed an executive order empowering ICE and law enforcement officials to ramp up their efforts to round up and deport undocumented people. 

More than 40,000 immigrants have been arrested since this order was issued, a 38% increase from the same period last year, ABC News reported. Between mid-2012 and mid-2015, 18 people died in immigrant detention facilities in the United States, according to Human Rights Watch.