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Immigration Detention Is Deadly

Madhuri Shukla

Since 2003, 215 people have died in immigration detention. The past four years (2016-2020) mark an unprecedented increase in deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. Their names are shown here.

COVID-19 has exacerbated the catastrophe of immigration detention—a system known for widespread abuse, fatal medical neglect, horrific conditions, and a lack of due process rights. People in detention are bravely protesting and speaking out against ICE abuses, demanding to be released immediately. Since March 2020, there have been at least 42 confirmed hunger strikes across the country in 24 detention centers. The 24 birds represent those facilities.

*19-month-old Mariee Juárez, 25-year-old Johana Medina Leon, and 42-year-old Oscar Lopez Acosta died soon after being released from ICE custody. Lopez Acosta had tested positive for COVID-19 while in ICE custody. Felipe Alonzo Gomez and Jakelin Caal Maquin, both children, died in Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) custody.

Data provided by the Detention Watch Network.


A gray background features many blue birds flying in front of crescent moon. Below is a black barbed wire coiled fence. Dozens of names are written in white all throughout.

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