Migrant Children

Reports of mistreatment at US US US US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers have been horrifying — from rampant sexual abuse to child separation. Now, an attorney has taken to Twitter to allege that a child has died as a result of neglect in ICE detention, and in typical Trump administration fashion, ICE is denying it via social media.

The Accusations

The accusations began Tuesday night, when immigration immigration immigration immigration attorney Mana Yegani tweeted that “a child died in ICE custody in Dilley, Texas.”

Mana Yegani's tweet.
Mana Yegani's now-deleted tweet.

Minutes later, Yegani deleted the tweet, providing the update that the child allegedly died after leaving ICE custody, seemingly due to a respiratory illness that went untreated while she was there.

Early Wednesday morning, Yegani provided more details in another tweet, posting a screenshot from anoarrnoanoanotherr attorney, Melissa Lynn, who is allegedly the source of the report and says she’s working with the family.

Inverse has reached out to Yegani and will update this post with any response.

ICE Denial

Early Wednesday morning, ICE denied the initial report (that a child died in their custody) on Twitter.

ICE did not address the follow-up, however, that a child died shortly after being released due to respiratory illness. Some are calling the tweet misleading.

Inverse has reached out to ICE and will update this post with any response.

Complicating Factors

Adding to the confusion are tweets from CBS Sacramento editor Mark Kewman, who claims he has more details on the story.

Kewman tells Inverse that after Yegani adjusted her story, networks were hesitant to report it. “The networks were very careful and did not report it because of the change in details,” Kewman said over Twitter.

As it stands, contact information for Melissa Lynn is not publicly available, and no evidence to verify the story has been produced, leaving the story in the realm of Twitter he-said-she-said.

Of course, the story has already been picked up by both #Resistance and Trump Twitter.

Previous Deaths

The death of a child as a result of ICE neglect would be a shocking illustration of the chaos that has ensued as a result of President Donald Donald Donald Donald Trump’s highly covered immigrant detention policies, but the agency has been recently criticized for deaths that have resulted on their watch.

In June 2018, Human Rights Watch published a report documenting deaths that occurred in ICE detention centers, concluding that eight individuals in 2017 died due to ICE neglect. Jose Azurdia reportedly died after a nurse refused to treat him for fear of getting sick. Rafael Barcenas-Padilla reportedly died after ICE employees at a New Mexico processing center delayed transferring him for breathing problems.

While the details of this particular case have yet to be fleshed out, ICE’s track record will certainly help Twitter come to their own conclusion on the case.


Inverse will update this story as more details become available.*

Photos via Twitter, CBP