Feb 26, 2018

Congressmen Call On ICE To Investigate Sex Abuse In Its Detention Facilities

"More than 45 congressmen have signed a letter calling for an investigation into how ICE handles sexual assault reports in its detention centers.

The letter references the case of Laura Monterrosa, a detainee at the T. Don Hutto Center in Central Texas who claims she was sexually assaulted by a female guard.

The immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership is also accusing detention center employees of pressuring Monterrosa to recant her claims." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 25, 2018
The Patch

Austin Council Members Seek Access To Detained Immigrant

"The council members from Austin are requesting access to the detainee after a Feb. 20 attempt by Council Member Greg Casar to visit with the woman was rebuffed by CoreCivic officials who run the site. Reportedly, the detention center's operators expressed concerns Casar would later go to the media to describe what he might have seen at the facility, according to Grassroots Leadership advocates.

... Hearing of her hardship, the three council members now requesting to visit with Monterrosa also are demanding she be released — joining a cause Austin-based Grassroots Leadership has long taken on.

'To bar officials from entering a detention center because they represent the public, or because they may speak to the media about what they see, raises dire questions about freedom of speech and the transparency of these facilities,' the letter reads in part. 'We are deeply concerned that continued detention will be harmful for Ms. Monterrosa's health and call on you to release her immediately from detention."' [node:read-more:link]

Feb 23, 2018
Austin American-Statesman

Lawsuit: Taylor facility forces detainees to work for little or no pay

"A class-action lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday argues that a company that manages immigrant detention centers — including the T. Don Hutto Center in Taylor — is violating the federal Trafficking Victims and Protection Act by forcing labor on those in the center.

...The T. Don Hutto center has been in the spotlight recently after Austin-based activist group Grassroots Leadership said it received letters from three women accusing guards at the detention center of sexual misconduct. One of those women is Laura Monterrosa, who has said she was sexually assaulted by a female guard." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 23, 2018
Austin American-Statesman

Austin council members request visit with woman in letter to ICE

"The council members also said in the letter that continued detention would be harmful to Monterrosa’s health.

Monterrosa has tried to kill herself and was placed in solitary confinement for 60 hours in early February because she was suicidal, according to the immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership. Monterrosa also was told that if she didn’t recant her allegations of being sexually assaulted by a guard at the facility, she would be put back in solitary confinement, said Bethany Carson, a researcher for Grassroots Leadership.

The letter from the Austin City Council members asked ICE to release Monterrosa from the detention center and said an Austin nonprofit group is willing to support her." [node:read-more:link]

More than 45 Congressional Representatives Call for Investigation Into Sexual Abuse at T. Don Hutto Immigrant Detention Center

AUSTIN — Today, more than 45 Congressional representatives, led by Representative Lloyd Doggett and Joaquin Castro from Texas, sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, calling for an investigation into the treatment of sexual abuse allegations at Texas detention centers and an expedited audit to assess compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center. [node:read-more:link]

Feb 21, 2018
Patriot Not Partisan

Suffering in Silence: Sexual Abuse in Immigrant Detention Centers

"On Wednesday, Feb. 14, a group of about 50 people gathered outside the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, to protest the isolation of one Laura Monterrosa, a young asylum seeker who has been convicted of no crimes. Though her solitary confinement was temporary, her story is far from over, and it is part of a larger pattern of abuse and silencing to which activists are hoping to draw attention." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 20, 2018
Austin American-Statesman

Austin council member denied a visit with asylum-seeker in detention

"Monterrosa, a 23-year-old artist from El Salvador, is seeking asylum in the United States and has been held at the facility for nearly nine months, said Grassroots Leadership, an immigrant advocacy group that also is seeking her release. It said she is fleeing from violence in her country and that a nonprofit group in Austin has agreed to provide her shelter and counseling.

Bethany Carson, a researcher for Grassroots Leadership, said Monterrosa tried to kill herself Jan. 12 after swallowing 50 pills left with her by CoreCivic, which owns and operates the detention center. Monterrosa was then put in solitary confinement for 60 hours this month just days after the FBI interviewed her about her sexual assault allegations, Carson said.

[...] When she was released from solitary confinement, Carson said, a guard told her she would have to recant her allegations or be placed in solitary confinement indefinitely. Monterrosa said she was having suicidal thoughts again this past weekend, Carson said, and is also having medical problems, is vomiting and cannot eat." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 20, 2018
Austin American-Statesman

Austin City Council member not allowed to visit woman in detention

"Bethany Carson, a researcher for the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, said at the commissioners meeting that if Monterrosa killed herself in detention it would signal a wrongful death lawsuit that could cost the county 'millions of dollars.'

'The county is liable for these abuses happening to Laura and we do not want taxpayer money spent that way,' Carson said." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 20, 2018
The Week


"In fact, as usual with this thundering law-and-order administration, ICE is also lousy with criminals. Its top lawyer in Seattle has been charged with stealing seven immigrants' identities. The agency typically stuffs the people they round up into hellish dungeons where sexual assault is rampant. One asylum seeker, Laura Monterrosa, who alleges she was repeatedly raped by her jailers in an ICE facility, said she was tortured with solitary confinement over speaking up. She was told she would not be released until she recanted her testimony.

Let's just get rid of this rotten organization." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 15, 2018
Mundo Hispánico

Activistas denuncian que inmigrante fue enviada a aislamiento, ICE dice que no

"Laura Monterrosa, inmigrante que denunció abuso sexual por guardias del centro de detención T. Don Hutto, en Austin, Texas, fue puesta en confinamiento solitario, según una organización que está siguiendo el caso.

De acuerdo con Bethany Carson, investigadora y organizadora de inmigración de Grassroots Leadership, el 12 de febrero, después de pasar el fin de semana en aislamiento, Monterrosa, fue amenazada con ser regresada al encierro si no retiraba la denuncia hecha contra la seguridad del lugar y que se hiciera pública la nueva versión." [node:read-more:link]


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