ATLANTA – A Mexican national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Stewart Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, died late Tuesday at an area hospital after he was found unresponsive in his cell and efforts by facility staff and emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful.
Efrain De La Rosa, 40, was pronounced dead at Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center in Cuthbert, Georgia, at 11:29 p.m. Stewart facility staff conducting scheduled monitoring discovered Mr. De La Rosa unresponsive in his cell at approximately 10:38 p.m. Facility staff and medical personnel immediately began to perform CPR and contacted Stewart County Emergency Medical Services, which arrived at the facility at 10:48 p.m. The preliminary cause of death ‘appears to be self-inflicted strangulation; however, the case is currently under investigation,’ officials said.
Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate agencies have been notified about the death, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.
Additionally, ICE has advised Mexican consular representatives who have notified Mr. De La Rosa’s next of kin.
ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases. Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole. This agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership to include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.
Mr. De La Rosa entered ICE custody March 11 in Wake County, North Carolina, pursuant to an ICE immigration detainer following his release from local law enforcement custody after his March 9 felony conviction for larceny. At the time of his death, Mr. De La Rosa was in immigration removal proceedings.
Mr. De La Rosa is the eighth individual to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2018.