Cuban Immigrant Awaiting Deportation in Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center Dies


(ESPAÑOL) An undocumented Cuban national awaiting deportation died this week in Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center, making him the second immigrant detainee to pass away in as many months, authorities said.

Yulio Castro-Garrido was diagnosed with pneumonia while being held at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga. on Jan. 7, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency said in a statement Wednesday night.

“After diagnosis, Mr. Castro initially resisted medical treatment which caused his condition to worsen,” ICE officials said.

After his health deteriorated, the 33-year-old immigrant was transported to a hospital in Albany, Ga., where he was placed on a ventilator on Jan. 9, according to ICE.

But Castro’s condition didn’t improve and he was taken to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 17 for additional treatment.

“Mr. Castro slipped into a coma Jan. 22 and never regained consciousness,” immigration officials said.

Castro died Tuesday night, they added.

Castro was admitted at the Stewart Detention Center on Nov. 24 after being convicted on Dec. 8, 2016, on charges that he had transported an “undocumented alien within the United States,” according to ICE. A judge ordered Castro’s deportation on Jan. 4.

Immigration advocates pointed to previous reports of poor conditions at the Stewart Detention Center in light of Castro’s death.

“Given the horrendously inadequate lack of access to medical care at Stewart, many questions remain. #ShutDownStewart,” Azadeh Shahshahani, a lawyer with Atlanta-based advocacy group Project South, tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Shahshahani’s organization released an extensive report late last May about immigrant detention centers in Georgia. The damning report found many detainees did not have proper access to care and some complained about being served rotten food or not getting their dietary restrictions accommodated.

Twelve immigrants died in ICE custody last fiscal year, which began shortly before President Trump’s election, making 2017 the deadliest year for detained immigrants since 2009.

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