Mistaken Identity Leads to Immigrant's Death

Construction worker Carlos Mejia-Bonilla was arrested in Long Island by immigration officers. He told the detaining officers that they had the wrong person, but was locked up Hudson County Correctional Facility anyway. Unfortunately, he died 10 weeks later.

Members of his family feel that inadequate medical care might have contributed to his early demise. However, immigration officials have since stated that Mejia-Bonilla, who was 47 years old, died of complications related to a previous medical condition.

While he was in jail, Mejia-Bonilla told his family he was worried that he wasn’t receiving enough medical care or attention for his illnesses, which consisted of diabetes, anemia, and cirrhosis of the liver. According to the family’s attorney, he was going to file a formal complaint after a phone call with his family.

Sadly, Mejia-Bonilla died before filing the complaint. In fact, his family only learned of his worsening condition because he did not appear at court. After tracking down an officer, they were informed that he had been taken Jersey City Medical Center. Because he was a federal detainee, they were unable to visit him in the hospital. However, his brother was able to sneak a peak through the doorway to witness a semi-conscious and sedated man who could not speak.

Carlos Mejia-Bonilla was first arrested on April 1, 2017. He died on June 10, 2017. As of now the family is still waiting for the results of the autopsy. According to their lawyer, they are going to hold the authorities accountable for the lack of proper medical care that is believed to have caused Mejia-Bonilla death.

It should be noted that in previous years, immigration officers would have likely let Mejia-Bonilla go. However, because of new guidance from the Trump administration, ICE officers have been given leeway to arrest any undocumented immigrants they encounter.

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