Patel detained at Atlanta airport dies in Immigration custody

New York: A 58-year-old Indian man from Gujarat Atulbhai Patel, who was in the US customs’ custody for entering the country illegally, died on Tuesday afternoon after being hospitalised for shortness of breath. Atulbhai, son of Babubhai Patel was taken in custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Atlanta City Detention Centre for two days. He died at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital with the officials stating the preliminary cause of his demise as complications from congestive heart failure. Patel is the second person to die in ICE custody this week. He is the eighth such individual who died in the custody of ICE the fiscal year 2017.

Patel had arrived at the Atlanta airport on May 10 on a flight from Ecuador.The US Customs and Border Protection had subsequently denied him entry into the country as he did not possess the necessary immigration documents, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement. Patel was transferred into the ICE custody last week at the Atlanta City Detention Centre where he received an initial medical screening and was found to have high blood pressure and diabetes. On Saturday, two days after being in the ICE custody, a nurse checking Patel’s blood sugar noticed he had a breathing problem following which he was shifted to a hospital where he passed away.

President Donald Trump has called for increasing detention as part of his crackdown on illegal immigration.

“Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been notified about the death, as have the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility,” the agency said in the news release. ” Additionally, ICE has advised Indian consular representatives who have notified Mr. Patel’s next of kin.”