An online petition has started to demand justice from the United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a Cameroonian’s death and the dozens of immigrant deaths under their watch.
The petition initiated by US Based Daily Kos demands U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Spokeswoman Lauren Mack to; release the body of the 37 year old Nebane Abienwi to his family, release the coroner’s autopsy report, and hold a public hearing to address the numerous immigrant deaths in their custody.
Nebane Abienwi, who hails from Bafut, Northwest Region of Cameroon was pronounced dead in a statement by the ICE, October 2, 2019.
“The detainee at the Otay Mesa Detention Center (OMDC) in San Diego, was rushed to Sharp’s Chula Vista Medical Center Thursday after experiencing a hypertensive event in the middle of the night,” the statement said.
“ICE Health Service Corps staff at OMDC contacted emergency medical services, which began immediate treatment upon arrival,” it added.
Unfortunately, he passed away Tuesday, October 1, at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center where he was undergoing treatment for a brain hemorrhage since Sept. 26.
However, yesterday, USA today gave another revelation about his death.
The U.S based media organ said Mr. Abienwi “was pulled off life support after his relatives said they requested that doctors continue the lifesaving measure.”
More than a month later, the man’s body remains in the USA, his relatives said they have been given little information about his death, and his brother has twice been denied a visa to travel to the USA, from South Africa and Cameroon, to identify the body and accompany it back home to Cameroon.
Initially the deceased’s family had agreed Abienwi should be maintained on life support until a relative could be by his side, but to their dismay, he wasn’t.
USA Today revealed that his brother Nebane Akongnwi, who was in the process of submitting his passport information to U.S. officials and planning to fly to California, was never informed that his brother was taken off life support. He said he learned of that decision only when contacted by a reporter who shared ICE’s summary of the case.
Who is Nebane Abienwi?
Nebane Abienwi was the oldest of four children, he quit college after his parents died to work and help his younger ones.
The father of six left his home, his wife and children, to try to make it to the USA, as a result of the ongoing conflict in the English speaking regions of Cameroon. He flew from Cameroon to Ecuador and made the long trek through Colombia, the countries of Central America and Mexico before finally reaching the California border.
He initially went to the border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, where he applied for admission into the U.S. on Sept. 5 but did not have the right documents, ICE said in the statement. He was transferred to ICE custody on Sept. 19.
He decided to go to the United States, to get documents, start working, open a business and bring his family over, so they can be safe and the kids could go to school.
On October 1, Cameroonian asylum-seeker Nebane Abienwi died in ICE custody. Abienwi is the ninth migrant to die in ICE custody over the past year, according to ICE data. His family and supporters said they want to know how that could have happened to a healthy man who had no medical problems before his confinement in the USA.
Between January and May 2019, 1,023 Cameroonians arrived in Mexico, according to reports. Nearly all of them arrived on foot. Most traveled by air to Ecuador and then traveled north through Central America and Mexico to make their way to the U.S border.