ICE actively hides information regarding the death of a 27 year old in immigration detention

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Adelanto, CA — Detention Watch Network and the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice are demanding an immediate investigation and public release of the findings related to the death of José Ibarra Bucio. Ibarra Bucio, 27, died on February 7 while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after being detained at the Adelanto Detention Center. Two months later, ICE has yet to publicly report any details on Ibarra Bucio’s tragic death.

“ICE’s lack of transparency over two months after the death of José Ibarra Bucio in their custody is unacceptable—full stop,” said Javier Hernandez, Director of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice. “We call for an immediate, transparent and independent investigation into José’s death and the factors that led up to his hospitalization.”

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) reported that, “to date, José's family has not received a full report detailing why he collapsed February 7 on his way to an immigration court hearing. He was taken to Loma Linda University Hospital by GEO officials and later went into a coma. José subsequently died of complications. Four days later, he became a first-time father.” CHIRLA held a press conference today with José’s family in Los Angeles.

“Immigration detention is fatal, and nowhere is that more true than Adelanto: the deadliest detention center in the country,” said Lizbeth Abeln, Immigrant Detention Coordinator with the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice. "ICE repeatedly puts lives in jeopardy with inadequate medical care, including delayed attention, that has contributed to numerous deaths in their custody.”

Since 2003, 190 people have died in immigrant detention. Recent investigations into deaths in immigration detention, Code Red: The Fatal Consequences of Dangerously Substandard Medical Care in Immigration Detention, Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention and Systemic Indifference: Dangerous and Substandard Medical Care in US Immigration Detention, have found that inadequate medical care has contributed to numerous deaths.

The press conference comes as the City of Adelanto has terminated its contract with ICE, a deliberate tactic by ICE to remove cities from detention contracts with the sole purpose of evading transparency and accountability.

“The alteration of Adelanto’s contracting structure falls in line with a preoccupying trend we’re seeing across the country, whereby ICE is consolidating its role as a direct contractor with private prison contractors in an attempt to circumvent the successes of community campaigns calling for detention center closures,” Said Barbara Suarez Galeano, National Organizer at Detention Watch Network. “This, along with the over 50,000 people currently detained across the country demonstrates the aggressive expansion of the detention system that ICE is currently pursuing.”


Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level to end immigration detention. Visit Follow @DetentionWatch.