A 38-year-old Mexican man died in the custody of US border officials in California from unknown causes, police said Friday.
San Diego police said the man was detained “without incident or force” by border patrol agents on suspicion of entering the United States illegally, “possibly by climbing the fences” at the frontier.
The male “went into medical distress” soon after being taken to a cargo area for processing.
“It is undetermined at this point what caused the male to go into medical distress,” the police statement said.
Paramedics carried out first aid but were not able to resuscitate the man, whose name was not released.
Police are investigating the death, which was also confirmed by border authorities. They did not provide any further information.
Between October 2020 and September 2021, the US recorded 1.7 million people illegally entering across its southern border — the highest annual number on record.
Activists say the reactivation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or “Remain in Mexico” policy, could increase the number of attempts to cross illegally.
It forces those seeking asylum in the US to wait outside the country while their applications are considered.