Grassroots Leadership In The News

Mar 26, 2018
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We are Mitú

Salvadoran Woman Who Risked Deportation After Revealing Sexual Abuse In Detention Center Is Free

"Monterrosa pleaded for a united front on behalf of the women at T. Don Hutto.  According to Grassroots Leadership, less than 1 percentof sexual allegations made within immigrant detention centers are investigated.

'I know that by all of us working together we can achieve triumph,' Monterrosa said. 'I know the women there are watching me. I want to tell them to keep on fighting and moving forward and not allow anybody to violate their human rights. Everyone, regardless of where they came from, deserves to have their rights respected.”' Read more about Salvadoran Woman Who Risked Deportation After Revealing Sexual Abuse In Detention Center Is Free

Mar 23, 2018
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Austin Chronicle

Laura Monterrosa Released From T. Don Hutto

"Advocates rallied outside the courthouse last week, calling attention to systemic abuses at Hutto and detention centers statewide. 'ICE is trying to make an example out of Laura to discourage other victims of sexual abuse from coming out,' said Grassroots' Claudia Muñoz. 'Laura's is not an isolated case. We know that many of the 500 women at Hutto are going through the same abuses but not receiving the same attention. Laura's story is just the tip of the iceberg.'" Read more about Laura Monterrosa Released From T. Don Hutto

Mar 23, 2018
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KUT

Some See Danger In Rush To Appoint Manley Permanent Austin Police Chief

'“It makes no sense to make an appointment as serious as this in the immediate aftermath of something so complex and fast-moving,' said Chris Harris with the criminal justice reform group Grassroots Leadership.

He said the quick appointment of Manley to permanent chief would rob Austinites of the chance to participate in the process by which they normally make important city hires.

'If we don’t take the opportunity to get whomever will be the next chief to be on record as supporting policies that reflect the values of the community,' Harris said, 'then we’ve lost an extremely valuable opportunity to ensure we improve our police force.'" Read more about Some See Danger In Rush To Appoint Manley Permanent Austin Police Chief

Mar 23, 2018
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New York Times

In Austin, a Bomber’s Rampage Exposes Racial Fault Lines Long Buried

"Alejandro Caceres, 30, an organizer for Grassroots Leadership, a prison reform and immigrant rights group, who lives and works in East Austin, said he believed the police were dismissing the concerns of black and Hispanic residents that the bombings were, at least in part, racially motivated.

'We’re being told that all of our feelings and our realities are not true, that this person was not targeting black and brown people, that this person was not a terrorist,' Mr. Caceres said." Read more about In Austin, a Bomber’s Rampage Exposes Racial Fault Lines Long Buried

Mar 22, 2018
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Texas Observer

Asylum-Seeker’s Release Shows Activists Can Win Under Trump’s ICE

"'This case under Obama would’ve taken like a month,' said Claudia Muñoz, immigration projects director with Grassroots Leadership, an Austin nonprofit that fights private prisons and led the activism around Monterrosa’s case. Under Obama, she said, it was 'common practice' for ICE to release detained immigrants with health problems or in response to scandal — a practice that’s much less common now.

Muñoz, an undocumented activist who once made national headlines for infiltrating a Michigan immigrant detention center, said that ever since Trump’s election, it’s been an open question whether Trump’s ICE can be successfully pressured. 'A lot of people have stopped organizing because they don’t think it’s possible now,' she said. 'But you have to be willing to try; it might not work, but people are being deported either way.'

On Friday, ICE granted Monterrosa what’s called 'deferred action,' essentially a year-long promise not to deport her while she tries to sort out her immigration case. Such temporary reprieves, which are renewable but can be revoked by ICE at any time, are a common goal for activists and attorneys, but they’ve been much harder to come by under Trump. In a statement, San Antonio ICE spokesperson Nina Pruneda said Monterrosa is required to check in weekly with the agency." Read more about Asylum-Seeker’s Release Shows Activists Can Win Under Trump’s ICE

Mar 21, 2018
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The Hill

Congressional accountability measures for ICE are long overdue

"If we need fresh examples of ICE human rights violations, we need only to look back to last month. That’s when Laura Monterrosa, a woman who accused a guard of sexually abusing her last fall in Hutto Detention Center in Texas, was locked in solitary confinement for 60 hours and told she wouldn’t be released until she recanted her sexual assault complaint." Read more about Congressional accountability measures for ICE are long overdue

Mar 20, 2018
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Al Dia News

Laura Monterrosa released

"Laura Monterrosa, a 23-year-old Salvadoran immigrant, was arrested in May 2017 after trying to enter the country without documents, fleeing the daily aggression against LGBTQ people that happens in her country. After 10 months in prison, and under threat of deportation, she decided to speak and make public her sexual harassment situation inside the facilities of the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas.

According to Univisión(link is external), Monterrosa wrote a letter of complaint detailing her situation and asking the Williamson County Sheriff's Office to 'take the reins of the investigation.'

The pro-immigrant activist group Grassroots Leadership made the letter public, and assumed the legal defense and the struggle for the liberation of the young Salvadoran woman." Read more about Laura Monterrosa released

Mar 20, 2018
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Mundo Hispánico

Liberan a Laura Monterrosa, la salvadoreña que reportó abuso sexual en centro de detención en Texas

"Grassroots Leadership la organización pro inmigrante que luchó por su liberación, informó a través de un comunicado que la mujer de 23 años salió de detención como resultado de una campaña de meses y de todo el apoyo que recibió." Read more about Liberan a Laura Monterrosa, la salvadoreña que reportó abuso sexual en centro de detención en Texas

Mar 19, 2018
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Rewire News

‘A Huge Victory’: Woman Who Alleged Assault by Guard Finally Released From Detention

"Laura Monterrosa was released from detention Friday evening after a months-long campaign by the advocacy organization Grassroots Leadership, culminating with a letter to the Department of Homeland Security signed by more than 45 Congressional representatives calling for an investigation into sexual abuse allegations at Texas detention centers. The members of Congress demanded an expedited audit to assess Hutto’s compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act. 

Getting released from detention has been a long road for Monterrosa, who Grassroots Leadership says is 'adjusting to her new environment and recovering from the trauma she has experienced.'" Read more about ‘A Huge Victory’: Woman Who Alleged Assault by Guard Finally Released From Detention

Mar 19, 2018
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Democracy Now!

Salvadoran Asylum Seeker Who Says She Was Sexually Assaulted in Detention Is Freed

"In Texas, a 23-year-old Salvadoran asylum seeker named Laura Monterrosa has been freed from the T. Don Hutto detention facility, after a national campaign to win her freedom. Monterrosa says she was sexually assaulted by a guard while in detention and was then placed in solitary confinement in retaliation for speaking up. She fled El Salvador to escape sexual persecution as a lesbian and was detained for nine months."

  Read more about Salvadoran Asylum Seeker Who Says She Was Sexually Assaulted in Detention Is Freed

Mar 19, 2018
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La Opinion

Liberan a migrante que denunció acoso sexual, afirman que no es el único caso en centro de detención

“La valentía y liderazgo de Laura han impulsado un movimiento en el condado de Williamson que elevó la consciencia sobre los abusos que han ocurrido en el centro”, dijo este lunes Bethany Carson, de la organización Grassroots Leadership. Read more about Liberan a migrante que denunció acoso sexual, afirman que no es el único caso en centro de detención

Mar 17, 2018
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KVUE

Woman alleging sexual assault against ICE guard now released

"Laura Monterrosa, an undocumented immigrant woman detained at T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, who reported she was sexually assaulted by a guard, was released Saturday, according to Grassroots Leadership.

'Despite facing retaliation inside, including solitary confinement, Laura showed incredible courage in speaking out to tell her story,' said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. 'This is a huge victory for Laura, for all the women who have organized and spoken out, and for the community that came to their support.”' Read more about Woman alleging sexual assault against ICE guard now released

Mar 17, 2018
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KXAN

Asylum seeker alleging sexual assault at WilCo detention center freed

"An asylum seeker who says a guard sexually assaulted her while she was in a Williamson County immigration detention facility has been released according to Grassroots Leadership -- a group supporting her.

The group said Laura Monterrosa was released from detention at the Don T. Hutto facility on Friday evening after months of protesting and campaigning." Read more about Asylum seeker alleging sexual assault at WilCo detention center freed

Mar 17, 2018
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Washington Post

Salvadoran woman who alleged abuse leaves immigration center in Texas

"A woman from El Salvador who said a guard groped her at an immigration detention facility has been released, advocates said Saturday.

Laura Monterrosa-Flores was released late Friday from the T. Don Hutto Residential Center outside Austin, where she had been held for months, Grassroots Leadership organizer Bethany Carson said. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which had sued on Monterrosa-Flores’s behalf, said Saturday that the Department of Homeland Security agreed to release her under deferred action, which provides individuals temporary relief from deportation." Read more about Salvadoran woman who alleged abuse leaves immigration center in Texas

Mar 17, 2018
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Univision

Liberan a inmigrante que denunció ser acosada por guardia en centro de detención de ICE

"A pesar de enfrentarse a represalias internas, incluyendo el confinamiento solitario, Laura demostró una valentía increíble al alzar la voz para contar su historia", dijo en un comunicado Claudia Muñoz, directora de programas de inmigración de Grassroots Leadership, el grupo que lideró la campaña para liderar a Monterrosa. "Esta es una gran victoria para Laura, para todas las mujeres que se han organizado y alzado la voz, y para la comunidad que salió a apoyarla". Read more about Liberan a inmigrante que denunció ser acosada por guardia en centro de detención de ICE

Mar 17, 2018
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El Universo

Liberan a inmigrante salvadoreña que alegó abuso en un centro de detención en Texas

"Laura Monterrosa Flores salió libre este viernes por la noche del Centro Residencial T. Don Hutto, en las afueras de Austin, dijo Bethany Carson, activista de Grassroots Leadership.

'Ella ya puede seguir adelante y recuperarse de los abusos que sufrió mientras estuvo detenida y antes de eso, en El Salvador', dijo Carson." Read more about Liberan a inmigrante salvadoreña que alegó abuso en un centro de detención en Texas

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