A young Sudanese migrant plummeted to his death during an immigration raid in Wales.
According to The Independent, the 23-year-old had been working at a Newport carwash when immigration officials arrived unexpectedly and allegedly started chasing employees.
In an effort to escape, the man climbed onto a nearby factory roof. It’s unclear what occurred in the exact moments leading up to his fall, but he was ultimately found on the ground of an annex building adjacent to the factory suffering from critical injuries.
Witnesses said there was a “huge bang” when the man fell, and the immigration officers “went white” as they attempted to perform CPR to save him.
The officers called an ambulance, which eventually arrived and transported the man to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where he would, ultimately, succumb to his injuries.
Lyn Saunders, a customer of the carwash who was waiting for his vehicle to be cleaned at the time of the incident, said he witnessed the whole ordeal.
“There were about half a dozen of us sitting in the cafe next to the car wash waiting for our cars to be done. The worker’s just scattered. It was a bit of a shock to say the least,” he recounted.
He added: “One of the workers managed to get up onto the roof, and the next thing you heard was a huge bang as he fell through. The officers all went white. About 10 minutes later a small ambulance arrived, and you could tell by their faces he had died.”
Saunders said he returned to the scene a few days after the tragedy and it was still open for business but had a completely new set of workers.
“I spoke to one of the car wash workers, and he said he was the man’s brother. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, or whether you’re an illegal immigrant or not,” Saunders said. “He was just going to work, and didn’t deserve to die. No one deserves that. It’s just needless; the car wash wasn’t even closed down.”
Now, an internal investigation into the matter is underway.
“We have a remit to investigate in certain circumstances where a death or serious injury occurs to a member of the public in the course of immigration enforcement staff carrying out their duties,” said Jonathan Green, the regional director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct, who is responsible for Home Office situations.
He continued: “We would like to assure everyone concerned by this incident that we have begun a thorough, independent investigation into exactly what happened on Saturday morning, and the planning of the operation.”
A spokesperson for the Home Office said that the immigration enforcement officers were “acting on intelligence” when they showed up at the carwash.
“Officers at the scene performed CPR until paramedics arrived. The man was transferred by ambulance to hospital, where he later died. Our thoughts are with his family,” they said, adding that it would be “inappropriate” to comment any further as the investigation is ongoing.
This tragedy is a stark reminder that the United States isn’t the only country where migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers are forced to live in fear of being detained and potentially shipped back to dangerous, poverty-stricken, or war-torn homelands.
The migrants who were targeted at the carwash were just working, trying to earn a decent living honestly without resorting to crimes. While it’s true that laws are laws, sometimes humanity should be a stronger force.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Philafrenzy