Saturday, December 22, 2007

Another Immigrant in a U.S. Detention Center Dies

SoCal immigration detainee electrocuted

Cesar Gonzales-Baeza had a green card, yet he was detained by ICE for 10 months because of a traffic violation. At the Mira Loma Detention Center, he volunteered to move fence posts. He was electrocuted with a jack hammer that struck a power line.

Friday, December 21, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
(12-21) 10:13 PST Los Angeles (AP) --

A Mexican immigrant fighting deportation was accidentally electrocuted at the Mira Loma Detention Center in Lancaster, authorities said.

Cesar Gonzales-Baeza, 35, was moving fence posts as part of a voluntary work crew on Dec. 5 when the jackhammer he was using struck a high-voltage power line, according to Greg Moreno, an attorney for his family. He died two days later.
Gonzales-Baeza was detained 10 months ago after being stopped for a traffic violation and had been held while appealing his immigration case, Moreno said.

The lawyer said his client had a green card.

"This shouldn't have happened," Moreno said. "This is a man who should have been bonded out. He was a hardworking man, a father of two young boys. He wasn't a threat to society or anyone else. And now he is dead."
Further details about the immigration status of Gonzales-Baeza were not immediately available from authorities.
The Sheriff's Department, which operates the Lancaster facility, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were investigating the death, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the customs agency.

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