President Donald Trump promised the country immigration reform and he is delivering it. Last week, 114 immigrants who were working at a garden center in Ohio illegally were arrested and detained by ICE officials [CNN]. Just last week, a man delivering pizzas to an Army base was also taken into custody by ICE officials after it was discovered he was working in the U.S. illegally [CNN]. The fact is, several families are being torn apart and many fear they may be separated from their children and loved ones for an unknown period of time.
With so much uncertainty, many illegal immigrants who have been detained are likely fearful of what the future holds. Perhaps that is why Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, may have committed suicide while in his jail cell in Starr County, Texas.
Below is a summary of the events that led up to Muñoz being detained along with the details regarding his death.
The Washington Post, which was the first source to disclose the details of this unexpected death, stated that Muñoz, who is a Honduran father, “crossed the Rio Grande with his wife and 3-year-old son on May 12thnear the tiny town of Granjeno, Texas.” The area is known to be a “popular crossing point for Central American families and teenagers who turn themselves in to apply for asylum in the United States.”
Shortly after Muñoz and his family were taken into custody, they arrived at a processing station nearby to McAllen and told officials they wanted to apply for asylum. Border Patrol agents informed the family that they would be separated. Naturally, like any father, Muñoz “lost it,” according to one agent. He was later booked into the Starr County Jail and officials stated that he remained combative. They decided to place him in a padded isolation cell, without any information regarding the whereabouts of his family was or when he would be released.
On May 13th, just two days after crossing the border, a guard passed by Muñoz’s cell at 9:50 a.m. and that is when he noticed Muñoz “lying in the center of the floor, unresponsive and without a pulse.” The source stated that the guard “noticed a small pool of blood by his nose” and “a piece of clothing twisted around his neck which was tied to the drainage location in the center of the cell.” This information was taken from an incident report filed by the sheriff’s department that morning.
After Muñoz’s took his own life, his wife and son were released from Border Patrol custody. Apparently, Muñoz had suffered a breakdown after being separated from his wife and child after crossing the border and may not have been able to handle the stress and worry he felt not knowing what was going to happen or how long he would be kept away from his family.
The strange thing about this case is that the death of Muñoz was not publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security nor did it appear in any local news reports when it first happened
back in May. While news sources were able to get their hands on the incident report nearly a month later, the source highlighted that Starr County authorities have “refused to provide a copy of Muñoz’s autopsy report” and have not yet responded to requests for more information about the cause of death.
With the Trump administration implementing the “zero-tolerance” policy geared toward combating illegal migration, anyone dealing with an immigration matter or has had a loved one who has been detained is encouraged to contact USAttorneys.com. We can place you in touch with the best immigration attorneys in the state of Texas who can help get your matter resolved and provide you with the assistance and support you need right now.