Mexican ICE detainee dies of heart attack linked to COVID-19 in Georgia

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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A Mexican man died of a COVID-19-related heart attack while in immigration custody Monday at a Georgia hospital.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement admitted 61-year-old Cipriano Chavez-Alvarez to Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital on Aug. 15, in Columbus, Georgia. He died of a heart attack from complications related to COVID-19 on Monday, according to a news release.

ICE took custody of Chavez-Alvarez after his July 21 release from the Edgefield Federal Correction Institution in Edgefield, South Carolina, where he was serving a life sentence for a 1993 conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

About two years before his drug conviction, a federal immigration judge in Los Angeles had ordered Chavez-Alvarez removed to Mexico.

Chavez-Alvarez had several chronic illnesses, including lymphoma, gout, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and hypothyroidism.

He was granted a compassionate release on medical grounds and entered ICE custody at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia. Officials then transferred home to the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, ahead of his removal to Mexico.

ICE notified the Mexican Consulate, who then contacted the next of kin. ICE also contacted the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, according to a news release.

A nurse who works at the Irwin County Detention Center recently filed a complaint that ICE officials sent detained women to a rural Georgia gynecologist now accused of performing surgeries without consent.

Immigration authorities have stopped sending detained women to Dr. Mahendra Amin, who faces allegations that he administered hysterectomies and other procedures that women held at the Irwin County Detention Center didn’t seek or fully understand, according to the Associated Press.

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