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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

44-Year-Old Liberian Dies in Notorious US Distension Center

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In Georgia, an immigrant from Liberia has died while detained at the notorious Immigration and Customs Enforcement Stewart Detention Center. Forty-four-year-old Cambric Dennis had been jailed at Stewart since 2023. Dennis is believed to be at least the 12th death at Stewart, which is run by the private company CoreCivic.

Cambric Dennis, a Liberian national, spent over seven months in detention at the Stewart Detention Center in southwest Georgia before dying on May 21, at 44.

The official cause of Dennis’ death is pending, federal authorities said. Dennis passed away at the at the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus, Georgia.

Dennis entered the U.S. legally in 1997. ICE first came into contact with him last year, after he was convicted of an aggravated felony related to controlled substance trafficking and detained at state prison near Jackson, Georgia. He was transferred to Stewart in October and placed in deportation proceedings, pending a hearing before an immigration jud

Dennis’ death makes him the second foreign national to have passed away in Georgia while in immigration detention this year, and the fourth nationwide. In April, Jaspal Singh, an Indian national, died after spending months in detention at Georgia’s Folkston ICE Processing Center near the Florida border.

Including Dennis and Singh, twelve Georgia ICE detainees died in custody since 2017, according to government data.

“As we mourn the death of Cambric Dennis at Stewart … we can’t help but wonder: how many more tragedies would it take for the Biden administration to finally shut down this deadly ICE prison?” said Azadeh Shahshahani, legal director of Project South, an Atlanta-based organization that advocates for detained immigrants, in a statement.

The Stewart Detention Center is a for-profit facility operated by CoreCivic, a Tennessee-based company.

A CoreCivic spokesman said in a statement that “the safety, health and well-being of the individuals entrusted to our care at the Stewart Detention Center is our top priority,” and referred The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to ICE.

“ICE remains committed to ensuring that all those in its custody reside in safe, secure and humane environments,” the agency said in a statement. “Comprehensive medical care is provided from the moment individuals arrive and throughout the entirety of their stay.”

Although President Joe Biden has yet to follow-up on a campaign promise to stop using private facilities for immigrant detention — a promise he reiterated in a Georgia rally in 2021 — his administration has put greater emphasis on digital surveillance programs to monitor migrants ahead of court dates.

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