Immigration Officials Attempt to Deport Detained Sexual Abuse Victim After Agreeing to Provide Treatment

March 14, 2018

A private immigrant detention center in Texas failed to provide mental health treatment to a woman who said she was sexually abused by a guard, according to expert testimony in federal court on March 13.

The testimony from two professionals who conducted mental health assessments of the victim led immigration officials to enter a settlement in which they agreed to provide care. The next day, however, they tried to deport her.

On March 14, ICE allegedly attempted to force Monterrosa to sign papers that would initiate her deportation, but she refused. At the time of this writing, advocates from the local immigrant rights group Grassroots Leadership are at the Austin campaign offices of United States Representative Beto O’Rourke, demanding an intervention. They say she could be deported at any moment.

The local immigrant rights group Grassroots Leadership has repeatedly argued ICE is using “medical care” as a cover for their retaliation and insisted Monterrosa’s health care needs were not being met. They have staged protests and arranged visitation with lawmakers at Hutto. They’ve also testified at county commissioner meetings and circulated petitions demanding her release. A city council member was arbitrarily denied access to the facility in February when he tried to visit Monterrosa.