POLITICS
07/01/2019 21:20 EDT

Honduran Held By ICE Dies In Custody, Becoming 6th Death Since October

Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres was found unresponsive in his detention cell, and died at a Houston hospital.

A Honduran man held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for several weeks died Sunday after being found unresponsive in his detention cell, the agency confirmed.

Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, 30, was detained on June 6 after attempting to enter the United States for the second time this year, ICE said. He had been held at a detention facility in Houston and was taken Sunday to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.

ICE did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Balderramos-Torres is the sixth person to die in ICE custody since October. A man showing flu symptoms died in Arizona in April, and a 16-year-old boy also died of the flu in May in Texas. Last month, a transgender Salvadoran woman also died in a Texas hospital days after she was released from agency custody, although ICE moved to cast blame on a lack of medical treatment before she entered the U.S.

BuzzFeed News reported Balderramos-Torres had tried to seek asylum in May, crossing the southern border, but was transferred back to Mexico under the Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy, which now mandates many of those seeking refuge be held outside of the U.S. He attempted to come back to the U.S. 10 days later before his most recent detention.

Balderramos-Torres previously tried to enter the country in 2013 but was deported to Honduras.

A group of asylum officers lambasted President Donald Trump’s immigration policy as contrary to America’s “moral fabric” in a court filing last week, saying they were forced to abandon the country’s tradition “of providing a safe haven to the persecuted.”

Many of those seeking refuge in the U.S. are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America, and a union representing the asylum officers said it was simply “not safe” for most of the migrants to wait south of the border. Before Trump changed the policy, it was common practice for asylum seekers to reside in the U.S. while their applications were processed.

The Mexican government said earlier this month that more than 15,000 people had been sent back to the country under the “remain in Mexico” policy.