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CBP Statement on Death in Custody: 45-year-old Mexican Man Passes Away in McAllen, Texas

Release Date: 
February 18, 2019

A Mexican national previously apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection passed away this morning at McAllen Medical Center in McAllen, Texas. According to initial reporting, a 45-year-old Mexican national was apprehended by United States Border Patrol agents for illegal re-entry on Feb. 2.

The individual was encountered by the Roma Texas Police Department on Feb. 2 near the Roma Port of Entry, and requested medical attention. Starr County Emergency Medical Services transported the individual to Mission Regional Medical Center in Mission, Texas. The individual was cleared to travel by the Mission Regional Medical Center and returned to the Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station. The next day, Feb. 3, following a welfare check, the individual requested medical attention, and was transported to the McAllen Medical Center shortly thereafter. Initially diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and congestive heart failure, the individual remained at the McAllen Medical Center from Feb. 3 until passing today, shortly before 9 a.m.

The following statement is attributable to Andrew Meehan, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

“This loss of life is tragic. Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones. CBP remains committed to ensuring the safe and humane treatment of those within the care of our custody.”

The official cause of death is not known.  Consistent with CBP policy, CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility has initiated a review.  The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General has been notified.  The Mexican government has been notified. 

CBP has also notified Members of Congress consistent with CBP’s Interim Procedures on Notification of a Death in Custody. At this time, CBP is not releasing the identity of the individual. CBP will release more details as available and appropriate, and will ensure an independent and thorough review of the circumstances.

Last modified: 
August 2, 2019