Woman dies in ICE custody in Arizona

Woman dies in ICE custody in Arizona
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A migrant woman from Guatemala has died while in immigration detention in Arizona, according to a Monday report, the third in-custody death nationwide for Immigration and Customs Enforcement since Oct. 1.


ICE announced that Raquel Calderon de Hildago, 36, died Sunday at a hospital near the Eloy Detention Center following multiple seizures.

Hildago was transferred to ICE custody Nov. 23, the Associated Press said, six days after the Border Patrol apprehended her. She was awaiting removal to her home country before her death.

ICE added its databases indicate Hildago had no criminal history in the U.S., according to The Arizona Republic.

The Republic reported Monday that Hildago is the 15th person linked to the Eloy Detention Center who has died since 2003.

The 15 deaths represent 9 percent of the 165 immigration detainees who have died in ICE custody since the same year, according to agency statistics.

A Republic analysis of ICE data last year concluded that there have been more deaths tied to the Eloy Detention Center than any other similar facility nationwide.

ICE contracts with the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America to operate the Eloy facility, which is located in Pinal County 60 miles south of Phoenix. CCA, one of the largest private prison operators in the country, maintains 1,550 beds at Eloy.

Critics argue privately run immigration detention centers offer subpar medical services in an effort to maximize profits. Such care has contributed to numerous deaths, detractors add, also noting little oversight exists for private facilities.

CCA officials have countered that ICE regularly inspects its operations and found they provide excellent care.