Cross posted at Immigration Orange
(Picture from the Boston Globe)
A Brazilian national, Edmar Alvez Araujo, died in federal custody after he couldn’t get access to mediction for his epilepsy. According the Boston Globe, Araujo was apprehended on Tuesday by the Woonsocket Police Department after a traffic stop. He was transferred to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency due to an outstanding deportation order from 2002. ICE took custody of Araujo at 3 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the Rhode Island Hospital at 4:18 p.m.
“Yesterday, I was wondering how I was going to tell my mother Edmar was going to be deported,” she said. “Now, I don’t know how I am going to tell her Edmar is dead.”
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition has called for an investigation in their most recent press release:
“The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition mourns the needless and tragic death of Edmar Alves Araujo. The death of this 34 year old in custody should never have happened. Our prayers go out to his family.”
“In this instance, enforcement officials, our public servants, failed to serve and protect not only the individual, but also our own standards of decency, when they allowed Edmar to suffer and die a preventable death.”
“Edmar Alves Araujo’s death while in ICE custody is shocking and outrageous. Unfortunately, this was not the first such death to occur under ICE custody. Edmar is the latest of 63 immigrants to die in administrative custody since 2004. This tragedy adds to the growing number of reports about abuses and mismanagement in ICE’s immigration detention system.”
“It wasn’t until the day after the death, that information became public about what happened. That the facts have been so slow in coming to light is indicative of the cloud of secrecy under which immigration enforcement operates today. Due process, fair treatment, and common human decency are often the first victims of unchecked arrests and imprisonment.”
“We demand a full and open investigation into the death of Edmar Alves Araujo. This death should never have happened. The immigration laws and enforcement officials that allow tragedies like this to keep happening exemplify just how removed the system is from our ideals as both a nation of immigrants and a nation of justice under law.”
This isn’t an isolated incident. The following is an incomplete list of other recent occurences:
1. Just today, the Associated Press is reporting that a pregnant woman died in a detention center in El Paso, TX.
3. The Los Angeles Times recently covered abuses of Salvadoran detainees.
4. ICE just pulled detainees out of an Albuquerque jail after the death of a Korean woman over a year ago.
The most disturbing part of the Boston Globe article is the following:
Grenier said state and federal authorities will investigate the death, but she could not say which agencies would be involved. Officials from the Rhode Island State Police and the state attorney general’s office said yesterday that they were not investigating Araujo’s death.
The death of Edmar Alvez Araujo needs to be investigated. Email or call the Department of the Attorney General in Rhode Island to demand an investigation into the death of Edmar Alvez Araujo. Do not let ICE sweep another one under the rug.
Rhode Island AG’s Patrick Lynch site
150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 274-4400
Patrick Lynch ext. 2338
Wiki on him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_C._Lynch
Apparently he played pro basketball in Ireland(!!??!)
Only email I could fine was the press office firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE 2: I called the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office and they that there is no need to investigate this because Araujo died in federal custody. That being said it was the Woonsocket police that initially detained them and according to the Boston Globe it was the Woonsocket police that turned Araujo’s sister away when she tried to bring him his medication.
If we want the federal Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) agency to be investigated for this it is best to contact the
United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island. Their contact information is.
United States Attorney’s Office – District of Rhode Island
50 Kennedy Plaza, 8th Floor
Providence, RI 02903
Main Office Phone: (401) 709-5000
Fax: (401) 709-5001
LECC / Public Affairs Officer, Thomas Connell
Victim-Witness Coordinator, Gale James
Thomas Connell’s email is email@example.com