A recently published report investigating the demise of an immigrant under the care of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed that the government fell short in adhering to various regulations designed to safeguard the health of detainees. This includes delving into the death of Melvin Ariel Calero-Mendoza, a Nicaraguan immigrant who died while in the custody of the Aurora #ICE Processing Center in #Colorado in October 2022.
The investigation pointed out various failures in detainee health standards, citing lapses in required health assessments, missed signs of a fatal blood clot, and inadequate medical care, primarily overseen by licensed practical nurses (LPNs) rather than doctors.
Calero-Mendoza had complained about severe pain in his legs and feet multiple times, displaying symptoms consistent with a potentially life-threatening blood clot. The investigation revealed that the medical staff did not order further tests despite noting his elevated blood pressure and low blood oxygen level, which could have indicated the clot's presence. A crucial 911 call made after Calero-Mendoza collapsed and began foaming at the mouth was omitted from ICE's investigative report, raising questions about the thoroughness of the inquiry.
The delay in releasing the report, initially declined by ICE until pressure from lawmakers, immigration lawyers, and media requests, has frustrated Calero-Mendoza's family. The report's findings not only spotlight the specific case but also cast a wider spotlight on the persistent issues within ICE detention facilities, pointing to systemic problems, neglect, and inadequate medical care.
This specific case underscores concerns regarding detainee health standards across ICE facilities, with this incident representing a pattern of similar failings observed in ICE detention centers nationwide, as reported by Dr. Parveen Parmar, who has extensively studied deaths in ICE custody.
We'll be following this story for future updates.