Third im­mi­grant in ICE cus­tody dies of COVID-19, of­fi­cials say

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS -

A Mex­i­can man be­ing held in U.S. im­mi­gra­tion cus­tody in Florida died shortly af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus, of­fi­cials said Mon­day.

Ono­val Perez-Mont­ufa, 51, died Sun­day at a Palm Beach County hospi­tal, ac­cord­ing to a U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforcemen­t news re­lease. He had tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19 on July 2 at the Glades County De­ten­tion Cen­ter in Moore Haven. Med­i­cal staff at the fa­cil­ity be­gan treat­ing him a day ear­lier af­ter he com­plained of short­ness of breath.

Perez-Mont­ufa ini­tially en­tered ICE cus­tody June 15 fol­low­ing his re­lease from fed­eral prison in Mas­sachusetts, where he had served 12 years for co­caine dis­tri­bu­tion. He was in ICE cus­tody pend­ing his re­moval to Mex­ico.

A Sal­vado­ran man died in May af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for coro­n­avirus at a San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia, ICE fa­cil­ity. A Gu­atemalan man died later that month at a Lump­kin, Ge­or­gia, fa­cil­ity.

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