Grassroots Leadership In The News
"Laura Monterrosa, una mujer de El Salvador que ha permanecido en detención en el centro T. Don Hutto desde mayo, intentó quitarse la vida el 11 de enero, de acuerdo al grupo con base en Austin en pro de la defensa de los inmigrantes Grassroots Leadership.
'Me siento muy desesperada porque traté de reportar el abuso a los oficiales de ICE y de las instalaciones, pero continúan abusando de mí psicológicamente a través de la intimidación', dijo Monterrosa en un comunicado publicado el lunes 15 por la organización Grassroots Leadership. 'No me siento segura. No estoy recibiendo el tratamiento médico o la ayuda que necesito'." Read more about Inmigrante detenida que alega haber sido asaltada intenta suicidarse
“I feel very desperate because I tried to report the abuse from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and facility officials, but they continue to psychologically abuse me through intimidation,” said Monterrosa after she was discharged from medical care. I was four the first time I was sexually abused: Nadia Jamil She further added: “I do not feel safe or secure. I am not receiving the medical treatment or help I need.”
"Laura Monterrosa, a woman from El Salvador who has been held at the T. Don Hutto immigrant detention center since May, tried to kill herself on Jan. 11, according to the Austin-based immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.
'I feel very desperate because I tried to report the abuse from ICE and facility officials, but they continue to psychologically abuse me through intimidation,' Monterrosa said in a statement released Monday by Grassroots Leadership. 'I do not feel safe or secure. I am not receiving the medical treatment or help I need.'" Read more about Advocates: Immigrant who said guard assaulted her attempted suicide
Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership, said Monterrosa’s case is heart-wrenching.
“It’s just inhumane to force this victim of sexual abuse to have to relive that abuse everyday by being forced to confront her abuser over and over again,” Muñoz said. “Laura can’t escape this pain, she can’t get the treatment she needs.” Read more about Detained immigrant who said guard assaulted her tried to commit suicide, advocates say
"Bethany Carson, Investigadora y Organizadora de Inmigración de Grassroots Leadership dijo a MundoHispánico, que Monterrosa intentó quitarse la vida tomando muchas pastillas que los oficiales médicos del centro de detención habían dejado. Agregó que las acciones de las autoridades, la llevaron a sentir que no tenía otra forma de solucionar su situación.
La organización ha iniciado una campaña para pedir al Senador republicano John Cornyn la liberación de Monterrosa, a través de una carta que ha sido publicada en su Facebook." Read more about Intenta suicidarse inmigrante que reportó abuso sexual en centro de detención en Austin, FBI inicia investigación
"Sofia Casini, the immigration programmes coordinator at Grassroots Leadership, told The Independent that guards were called into Ms Monterrosa’s cell shortly after she took the pills, but did not assist her. Instead, Ms Monterrosa took herself to the medical centre hours later, after talking on the phone with Grassroots staff.
'This case is heart-wrenching,' Claudia Muñoz, immigration programmes director at Grassroots Leadership, said in a statement. '..It’s just inhumane to force this victim of sexual abuse to have to relive that abuse everyday by being forced to confront her abuser over and over again.'" Read more about Immigrant woman attempts suicide after reporting allegations of sexual abuse at Texas detention centre
"AUSTIN, TX — Community leaders on Friday urged top Travis County officials to halt plans on building a new women's jail and instead focus on implementing recommendations to reduce incarceration rates.
The letter delivered Friday by representatives of nine community groups suggested county officials implement three policy changes aimed at reducing the county jail population:
- Decriminalize all offenses that are eligible for cite-and-release measures.
- Reevaluate prosecution of state jail felonies.
- Invest in community alternatives to arrest for offenders with mental health issues and substance use disorders."
"In the meantime, Monterrosa remains at Hutto, where she says she has experienced retaliation as a result of speaking out. She has described it as 'hell.' 'I don’t go to the dining area. I don’t go to any of the recreation areas because I’m so scared I’ll see [the guard who assaulted me] in the hallways,' she said when we spoke on January 4. By that point, she said she hadn’t been to the dining area in two weeks and had stopped eating altogether once she ran out of money on her commissary account. She said she was threatened with disciplinary action for refusing eat. A week after we last spoke, Monterrosa tried to kill herself by overdosing on pain medication that had been left in her room by Hutto medical staff. According to Grassroots Leadership, she ingested 51 prescription pills. The following day, she was finally told that the guard who assaulted her was being transferred to a different facility." Read more about Asylum seekers are being sexually assaulted in U.S. detention
"Chris Harris, a data analyst with Grassroots Leadership, told members of the city’s Public Safety Commission earlier this month that the public accountability the cameras can provide is limited.
'These actually are a conduit for pushing out the police perspective of a particular incident,' he said. 'They’re worn on the police officer, they are the police’s eyes and ears in a particular situation. In that respect, they already are geared toward the officer perspective.'" Read more about APD makes final push to get body cameras on all patrol officers
"But on Tuesday, Ramirez announced that ICE had refused to renew their protection in October; once again, she and Ivan, 11, will indefinitely confine themselves in the church.
'I’m grateful that the church is continuing to support me; I don’t feel alone,' said Ramirez Tuesday on a conference call attended by four immigrants living in sanctuary in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. 'The church is my family … and I’m going to continue fighting.'" Read more about Guatemalan Family Takes ‘Sanctuary’ in Austin Church — Again
“'This case is heartwrenching; we learned from Laura that she attempted to kill herself just after learning that she was going to be punished because she refused to eat in the same cafeteria where her abuser is now assigned.' Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership, said in a statement. 'It’s just inhumane to force this victim of sexual abuse to have to relive that abuse everyday by being forced to confront her abuser over and over again. Laura can’t escape this pain, she can’t get the treatment she needs.'
[...] 'There are enough eyes looking at this that something should have happened already to make sure that Laura is in a safe place. No victim of sexual abuse should be forced to live with their abuser,' Bethany Carson, immigration researcher and organizer at Grassroots Leadership, said in a statement. 'We are asking Sen. Cornyn in the name of the rule of law to ask that ICE immediately release Laura pending this investigation.”' Read more about Migrant Attempts Suicide After Forced to Interact With Alleged Abuser
"'This case is heart-wrenching,' said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. 'We learned from Laura that she attempted to kill herself just after learning that she was going to be punished because she refused to eat in the same cafeteria where her abuser is now assigned. It's just inhumane to force this victim of sexual abuse to have to relive that abuse everyday by being forced to confront her abuser over and over again. Laura can't escape this pain, she can't get the treatment she needs.'" Read more about Immigrant Woman Held In Williamson County Attempts Suicide
“There is no reason that the TPS for El Salvador was cancelled,” said Bethany Carson, an immigration policy researcher with Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit working to eliminate private prisons and help create humane immigration policy. “While the circumstances that initially provided the TPS to El Salvador have changed, anyone looking at the conditions in El Salvador today can see that it is not safe to send these people back. They are being sent back to danger and, in some cases, death.” Read more about Fast Track to Nowhere
“There are enough eyes looking at this that something should have happened already to make sure that Laura is in a safe place,” said Carson. “No victim of sexual abuse should be forced to live with their abuser.”
Claudia Muñoz, programs director at Grassroots Leadership, called the case “heart-wrenching.”
“It’s just inhumane to force this victim of sexual abuse to have to relive that abuse everyday by being forced to confront her abuser over and over again,” she said. “Laura can’t escape this pain. She can’t get the treatment she needs.” Read more about Immigrant Woman Attempts Suicide at Detention Center After Facing Punishment for Avoiding Guard Who Sexually Abused Her
"The number of deaths in 2017 has alarmed immigration activists, who have long accused immigration officials and detention center operators of providing delayed or substandard medical care and ignoring complaints of illness.
'Simply put, detention and deportation are a deadly business,' said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership. Libal, whose group monitors civil rights conditions, said the 'high-profile failings of the detention system in Texas' make him worried about plans to further increase the number of detainees held at privately owned facilities here. A 1000-bed for-profit detention center is planned to open in 2018 in Conroe, already home to another detention facility." Read more about Immigration detention deaths reach the highest total since 2009
"In a memo sent to Council and the mayor on Jan. 3, Grassroots Leadership's Chris Harris suggested that organizational math points to 'millions of dollars allocated under the old contract' that are now fair game for Council's reallocation into other programs that could address public safety: 'from improvements in forensics, to neighborhood lighting, permanent supportive housing for the homeless, drug & mental health treatment, youth programs, parks, pools and other human services.' Harris puts forward a $10.5 million estimate for special pay items, based on Council's budget questions and a Dec. 21 memo from interim City Manager Elaine Hart." Read more about APD’s Napkin Math
"La campaña #EllaTambién comenzó a raíz del movimiento social #MeToo que protagonizaron decenas de famosas que confesaron en las redes sociales el acoso y agresión sexual que sufrieron a manos de hombres poderosos e influyentes.
Desde entonces, una coalición del activismo proinmigrante ha querido usar esta atención para poner freno al abuso que, dicen, ocurre en los centros de detención de inmigración.
'La cuestión es que las mujeres en detención tienen otra capa con que lidiar, que están siempre en las manos de las personas que las están abusando, por eso decidimos usar #EllaTambién para poner luz de que hay muchas mujeres que han sido víctimas', dijo Claudia Muñoz, una de las representantes de la organización Grassroots Leadership.
Según Muñoz, esta problemática no es una novedad: 'En los últimos siete años, ha habido 33,000 reportes de abuso sexual en centros de detención, de esos 33,000 reportes, solo 500 han sido investigados propiamente por la inmigración', agregó Muñoz." Read more about Campaña busca apoyar a víctimas de agresión sexual dentro de centros de detención
"In its first meeting of 2018, Austin’s Public Safety Commission on Monday discussed opportunities to improve the Police Department’s body-worn camera policy. Austin police began rolling out body-worn cameras to patrol officers in three stations throughout the city in October. By the end of 2017, officers stationed in east, south and central Austin had been outfitted with the devices.
[...] Chris Harris, of the local organization Grassroots Leadership, told the commission that it is important to consider who the body-worn camera policy really works for, and said that in its current form, it is stacked in favor of police." Read more about Activists calling for improvements to Austin police’s body camera policies