Honduran man in US detention kills himself after being separated from wife and children at border
The Starr County sheriff's department confirmed that 39-year-old Marco Antonio Muñoz, who was placed in a Texas jail, took his own life in his cell.
An immigrant from Honduras killed himself in a detention center last month after he was reportedly separated from his wife and children at the US-Mexico border, according to reports.
The Starr County sheriff's department confirmed that 39-year-old Marco Antonio Muñoz, who was placed in a Texas jail, took his own life in his cell. The department's incident report was obtained by The Washington Post.
The Post stated that the man's death was not publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The authorities at the US Customs and Border Protection and Starr County did not respond to the news outlet's request for comment over the incident.
Muñoz died just weeks after the Trump administration announced its controversial "zero-tolerance" policy of cracking down on illegal border crossings by prosecuting more number of parents and separating them from their children at the border.
The policy has been heavily criticized by many in the public, activists, lawmakers and also has been deemed illegal by the United Nations.
Border Patrol agents who were aware of Muñoz's situation talked to the Post and said that the man, his wife and his 3-year-old son were taken into custody after they crossed the border into the United States near Granjeno, Texas.
One of the agents said that the family sought to apply for asylum, however, they were told that they would be separated.
“The guy lost his s---. They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands," the agent said on condition of anonymity.
Reports state that the Border Patrol staff relocated Muñoz to a padded isolation cell at a local jail after he began shaking the chain-link detention cell. The agents said that the man tried to escape twice during his transfer and eventually had to be restrained.
"We had to get him out. Those cells are about as secure as a dog kennel. He could have hurt someone," the agents reportedly said.
The sheriff's report stated that guards checked on Muñoz twice an hour and said that they saw him alive and praying the following morning, however, later at 9:50 a.m. he was found unresponsive by a guard.
One agent told the Post that his wife and son were later released from Border Patrol custody.
Reports state that under Trump administration nearly 1,800 families have been separated at the border.