An Indian man who was detained by immigration officials in Atlanta, Georgia, died earlier this week. Atulkumar Babubhai Patel, who was 58 years old, had arrived in Atlanta on May 10 on a flight from Ecuador, Atlanta Patch reported on Thursday.
The US Immigration and Customs Department, ICE, said Patel had died earlier this week in a hospital. He was the second foreign national detained by ICE to die in Atlanta this week. On Monday, a 27-year-old Panamanian had died after being in solitary confinement for 19 days, according to the report.
The ICE said Patel had been detained because he did not have the proper documents when he entered the US. His medical screening showed he had high blood pressure and diabetes, the report said. When Patel had complained that he was short of breath, he was taken to a local hospital, where he died. A preliminary investigation said he had died of congestive heart failure.
In a statement, the department said, “Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole.”
Earlier this week, the ICE had announced that arrests of “undocumented immigrants” have risen 40% since President Donald Trump assumed office. Atlanta Patch quoted ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan as saying, “As the data demonstrates, ICE continues to execute our mission professionally and in accordance with the law, and our communities will be much safer for it.”
Immigration laws have been tightened after Trump became president. His administration had also passed two executive orders banning the entry of people from more than five Muslim dominated nations. The orders were both struck down by the US judiciary. The US has also made it harder for anyone to get an H-1B visa, which was being used by several tech companies that were hiring Indian nationals. After the H-1B application process changed, tech majors Infosys and Cognizant had announced they will open US offices, where they will hire Americans.