An Eritrean man committed suicide after being deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) back to his home country in Africa.
According to The Daily Beast, 34-year-old Zeresenay Ermias Testfatsion was being held in Egypt’s Cairo International Airport en route to Eritrea when he was found “deceased in a shower area.”
Testfatsion was detained by ICE in February 2017 at the Hidalgo Texas Port of Entry while trying to cross the southern border into the United States. In October, a federal immigration judge ordered him to be deported.
Following his death, his body was transported to a local hospital and is headed to Eritrea’s capital, Asmara.
While ICE shared the details of Testfatsion’s death on its official website, the headline of their news release states that he passed away. However, he didn’t just pass away; he claimed his own life, likely out of desperation and fear of being forced to return to whatever he was escaping in Eritrea. That is an important detail that should not be overlooked or taken lightly.
ICE needs to take responsibility for preventable tragedies of this nature that occur on their watch. While we all know and understand that there are laws and guidelines that need to be followed to legally immigrate to new countries, sometimes immigrants simply do not have the time and resources to go through the process before entering the country.
In many cases, fleeing their home countries is a matter of life and death for these people, and the U.S. government should be sympathetic to that and handle situations on a case by case basis instead of treating all immigrants like second class citizens, having no compassion for their dire situations.
Alas, this is the era of President Donald Trump, who has already made it very clear that he doesn’t want black and brown immigrants from “sh*thole” countries entering the United States. As such, Testfatsion’s blood is on the Trump administration’s hands.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters, Mike Blake