Philadelphia Citizenship Lawyers | Legal Immigrant Takes Own Life while Awaiting Deportation

In a recent report by, a tragedy occurred that potentially could have been avoided.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained a woman legally residing in the United States with her family for the past thirty years.  While the female was held in custody in York, Pennsylvania awaiting deportation, she committed suicide.

The legal resident of the U.S. had a history of severe mental illness.  The process of her deportation to a “homeland” she knew nothing of began after convictions for crimes most likely related to her mental illness and linked to her failure to take her medication.   Attorneys intervened on her behalf, asking  ICE to suspend the deportation because of her mental illness.

Philadelphia immigration lawyer, Thomas Griffin advocated for the victim for over two years.  Mr. Griffin appealed to  ICE to release the mentally ill woman to an appropriate treatment center, citing that the agency was unable to safely and adequately care for her.  Unfortunately, the outcome of this case proves Mr. Griffin correct and highlights the inability of the immigration system to securely detain the mentally ill.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asserts it is reviewing the details of the woman’s death and evaluating its deportation policies.   To read the full article about this story, click here.

For more information on immigration and nationality issues, contact the Philadelphia immigration law firm of Surin & Griffin, P.C. at 215-925-4435.  Online inquiries are also welcome.