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ICE detainee from Honduras dies in Albuquerque hospital

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A transgender woman and ICE detainee died of a heart attack at an Albuquerque hospital Friday morning, according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Authorities say 33-year-old Jeffry Hernandez, originally from Honduras, was housed in the transgender unit at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M., until last week when she began suffering from complications associated with HIV.

The release states that Hernandez was hospitalized at Cibola General Hospital before being airlifted to Lovelace Medical Center, where she died. Although the preliminary cause of death is cardiac arrest, an autopsy is pending.

Authorities say Hernandez is the sixth detainee to die in ICE custody since Oct. 2017.

A spokesperson for ICE said they had no other information outside of what was in the release.

“Comprehensive medical care is provided from the moment detainees arrive and throughout the entirety of their stay,” the release states.

Authorities say detainees receive medical, dental and mental health intake screening within 12 hours of their arrival at a detention facility and a full health assessment within 14 days of entering ICE custody or arrival at a facility.

The release states that ICE took Hernandez into custody in San Diego, on May 13 after she applied for admission into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California. From there, Hernandez was transferred to El Paso, then Milan.

Authorities say Hernandez illegally entered the country three times, between 2005 and 2014. The first two times she was granted voluntary return to Mexico, since she claimed Mexican nationality to immigration officials, but the third time she was arrested, convicted of illegal entry, and removed.

The release states that Hernandez was convicted of theft in 2006 and lewd, immoral, indecent conduct and prostitution in 2009.

“Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been notified about this death,” the release states. “Additionally, ICE has notified the Consulate of Honduras in Houston, of Hernandez’s death, and Honduran consular officials will attempt to notify her next of kin.”

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