An illegal immigrant who became “unruly” and tried to escape from agents in Texas last week became “unresponsive” and died soon after, the Border Patrol said Friday, saying the incident has sparked a review of how migrants are detained and transported in the field.
The man, from El Salvador, was part of a group of illegal immigrants that agents were tracking on a ranch near Eagle Pass. After a nine-hour search, agents found seven of the migrants, then found five others in a different location.
The Salvadoran man was in that second group, and agents said they handcuffed him to two other migrants. But he “became unruly,” so they removed the handcuffs to separate him.
He tried to escape, but agents captured him and “restrained him with his hands behind his back and placed him on the hood of a nearby Border Patrol vehicle,” the agency said.
They then drove back to where the first group was, and the Salvadoran man was still restrained.
An hour later, a vehicle arrived to transport the group and the man was “unresponsive,” the agency said.
Agents began CPR and called for emergency services, but the man was declared dead at the scene.
An investigation is underway and the agents involved have all been reassigned.
The Border Patrol also has initiated a review of its detention and transport policies.
The death comes just days after Customs and Border Protection announced it would deploy body cameras to thousands of agents and officers this year, in a step to try to limit use-of-force abuses.