Protesters want facilities where immigrant detainees died shut d - CBS46 News

Protesters want facilities where immigrant detainees died shut down

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Protesters gathered in front of Atlanta's Immigration and Customs Enforcement office Thursday to call for the closure of two Georgia detention facilities that held immigrant detainees before their deaths last week.

On May 15, Jean-Carlos Jimenez-Joseph died in the Stewart Detention Center in southwest Georgia. Jimenez-Joseph, who was in the process of being deported to his birth country of Panama after being convicted of stealing a car in North Carolina, hanged himself after days of isolation.

The next day, in the city of Atlanta, Atulkumar Babubhai Patel, a 58-year-old Indian national, died of heart failure. He was being held at the Atlanta city jail after flying into Atlanta’s airport without the necessary immigration papers.

Protesters want both facilities shut down, saying neither are equipped to handle the physical and mental needs of immigrant detainees. They also want city and county leaders to end all contracts between those detention centers and I.C.E.

When asked for a comment about the protest, Bryan D. Cox, provided a statement that reads in part, "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion peacefully without interference. As Secretary Kelly has stated, ICE will continue to enforce our nation’s laws to protect public safety, national security, and to preserve the integrity of our immigration system. While any fatality in ICE custody is unfortunate and is subject to a full investigation, the recent fatalities you referenced are the first in ICE custody in Georgia in more than six years. Deaths in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur far less frequently that the detained population as a whole across the United States."

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