A 62-year-old Mexican woman in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) died Thursday night at the Alvarado Hospital in La Mesa, California. An autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of death.
Augustina Ramirez-Arreola was pronounced dead by medical staff at the hospital at approximately 10:45 p.m. At the time her death, hospital staff identified the preliminary cause of death as complications from surgery. Ramirez-Arreola had been transferred to the hospital earlier in the day for scheduled surgery to treat a heart abnormality.
According to DHS records, Ramirez-Arreola applied for admission into the United States at the San Ysidro Port of Entry without proper entry documents on May 21, 2018. She was processed as an Expedited Removal case and transferred to ICE custody at the Otay Mesa Detention Center on June 3, 2018, pending the outcome of her immigration proceedings. She was ordered removed by an Immigration Judge on July 23, 2018 and was pending removal to Mexico at the time of her death.
Ramirez-Arreola was previously processed as an Expedited Removal on Nov. 20, 2013 after applying for admission into the United States at the San Ysidro Port of Entry without proper entry documents. She was returned to Mexico on Nov. 22, 2013. Database checks indicate she has no criminal history in the U.S.
Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been notified about this death, as have the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, ICE has notified the Consulate of Mexico in San Diego of Ms. Ramirez’ death.
Ramirez is the ninth detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2018, which began Oct. 1, 2017.