A coalition of immigrant rights groups will demonstrate on Monday outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters in Washington following the death of a Cameroonian man that was in ICE custody last week.
Nebane Abienwi, 37, was hospitalized in San Diego last Thursday following a “hypertensive event,” according to ICE, with doctors attributing his death to a brain hemorrhage and resulting brain death. Abienwi originally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry and applied for admission in September but was detained for not having the right documents.
The demonstration was organized by a coalition of groups focusing specifically on black and African migrant rights, including the Cameroon American Council, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, the Black Immigrant Collective and the African Public Affairs Committee.
“We are deeply troubled that on the very first day of ICE’s fiscal year, Nebane’s death begins the death count of detained immigrants. It is horrifying that ICE has yet another death on their hands just one year after former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, stated ‘one death is too many’ during her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee,” the statement reads.
“Tragically, conditions continue to deteriorate and we continue to live in a reality where, under the Trump administration, over 20 immigrants have died in ICE custody, and the number of people held in detention exceeds 50,000 and continues to grow,” it adds.
The statement also condemns the human rights abuses that led to Abienwi fleeing for the U.S. The country is the site of armed conflicts that affect 8 of 10 regions, leading to what the United Nations has deemed the world’s worst displacement crisis, according to the statement.