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Family Of Immigrant Detainee Sues President Obama, Government For Wrongful Death

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)   —  A local family says it will sue President Barack Obama and several federal agencies because their loved one, an immigrant being held in various detention centers, died while waiting to get medical treatment.

Nancy Luna fought back tears Friday as she discussed her husband’s ordeal.

At a news conference Friday, attended by CBS2’s Amy Johnson, Luna said her husband had Type 2 diabetes, and his care was neglected.

He was held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, among other places.

Last March, Roberto Aguilar Batista, 38, died from complications of diabetes at the Dalby Correctional Facility.

“It’s so tough, because he was so young,” said Batista’s niece Esmeralda Aguilar.

She said her uncle was constantly writing letters.

“He was letting [his wife]  know it was really tough in there. That he didn’t want to be in there,” said Aguilar.

Batista lived in the LA area for 10 years with his wife and two daughters.

He was arrested in June 2013 on suspicion of entering the country illegally.

His family says at the Metropolitan Detention Center he was denied proper care and developed kidney damage, a heart attack and blindness.

Batista was moved to three other facilities before his death.

“They gave me another medicine,” Batista wrote in a letter read by his attorney, James Segall-Gutierrez, “that de-controlled my sugar levels.”

In a letter a month before he died, he complained of not receiving proper medical care and also asked for an attorney.

The family’s attorney has filed a civil-rights complaint against Obama, the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration Customs Enforcement, the Department of Justice, the Metropolitan Detention Center and the Giles Dalby Correctional Facility.

“Everybody, even if they are undocumented, is entitled to civil rights,” said Segall-Gutierrez.

“A man has died; he left his family, two children and a loving wife,” Segall-Gutierrez said. “Unacceptable.”

The attorney said he plans to go to Washington and serve the president.

“The only reason I’m filing against the president of the United States is that he is the figure head of the United States,” Segall-Gutierrez  said, “for violating the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and particularly the article which states we would live in peace.”

Johnson reports there has been no comment from any of the agencies named in the complaint.

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