Ana Romero Rivera: Another Death In ICE’s Custody

It wasn’t but one month ago that we learned that Hiu Lui Ng’s died while in detention by ICE. Now we learn that Ana Romero Rivera also died last month in detention. There have been 71 reported cases since 2004.  This doesn’t speak to the many that nearly die, who are tortured, or who’s deaths go unreported.

Did Ana deserve to die because she wanted to provide for her family?

Ana was here to send money back to her sons who were attending college and to help her 92 year old mother.  I find it sad that we live in a world where a woman has to give up her life so her children can go to school. They are obviously on their way towards making a better life for their family in El Salvador and now they’ll have to do it without a mother.  And now a mother has to bear the death of a child.

Like most of our mothers Ana was obviously a strong woman. She left for an unknown land to provide for her family. She was a strong and courageous woman.  Ana had been in custody for six months.  Towards the suspicious activity started as she complained that the food tasted funny and it made her sick. She lost a great deal of weight and ultimately lost her life. They’re claiming she hung herself, but her family doesn’t believe it and I don’t either. Was there some sick game being played in that Kentucky jail? How long will it take to get answers?

No matter how hot your head gets when thinking about undocumented migrants only a sad soul could find it acceptable that people are being tortured by ICE and by the prisons they employ. In July a woman was forced to give birth while chained. Who’d think this could happen in the United States?

As Nezua writes at The Unapologetic Mexican:

But because a “migrant worker” or an “immigrant” is just a word. An “illegal alien” is a human being just like all of us. A living, eating, working, hoping, fearing, dreaming human being.

The story of suffering, for many, begins at birth and the necessity to travel so far to provide a decent life is just a loss in the ovarian lottery.  We move about with ease and with the knowledge that we’re free citizens of the United States while so many suffer around the globe.  When they come here to be a part of our wonderful country their suffering often does not stop – the wonder a simple facade.

While it’s nice to see Congress has stepped in more can be done by them to help by passing comprehensive immigration reform.

Congress has recently demanded that more details be made public. The New York Times recently reported that at least 71 people scheduled for deportation died in custody from 2004 to May 2008. Advocates say the detainees should have improved health care and suicide prevention measures.

How many more people have to die this way before we say enough? Is it ok to torture people who have come to this country for work and have done us no harm? Ana was a human being. She was guilty of nothing more than being undocumented. This cold treatment of a human being will not stop with Ana and it will not stop with the undocumented. Injustice against one is injustice against us all. A system is being built. Little by little it becomes ok for our government to raid, torture and kill. Now we speak of Ana. Who will it be tomorrow?

Soy una raya en el mar (I’m a line in the sea)
Fantasma en la ciudad (a ghost in the city)
Mi vida va prohibida (my life is prohibited)
Dice la autoridad   (so says the authorities)

(gracias yave y manu chao)

Others writing about this horrible death in detention are:

The Unapologetic Mexican

Vivir Latino


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