Feb 14, 2018

ICE niega haber castigado con aislamiento a una inmigrante que denunció abuso sexual

"La organización Grassroots Leadership asegura que Laura Monterrosa fue puesta en confinamiento en solitario durante 60 horas en el centro de detención Hutto, en Texas, manejado por un contratista federal. La agencia migratoria afirma que la salvadoreña estuvo en una unidad médica "bajo observación" por una situación que ella reportó." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 14, 2018


“This should not be happening in America,” said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. “Here you have a woman who came forward to report rampant sexual abuse inside of a federal facility. Instead of protecting her and ensuring the abuse stops, ICE is now putting Laura in solitary confinement with the expressed intent of tearing her down so she will do as they say.” [node:read-more:link]

Feb 14, 2018
Austin American-Statesman

ICE denies woman punished for sexual assault allegations

"Protesters gathered Wednesday morning outside the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor alleging a woman had been held in solitary confinement for refusing to recant her allegation that she had been sexually assaulted by a guard.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents placed El Salvadorian immigrant Laura Monterrosa in solitary confinement at the center for 60 hours from 11 p.m. Friday to 11 a.m. Monday, saying she would only be freed from solitary if she took back her story, said Cristina Parker, a spokeswoman for Grassroots Leadership." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 16, 2018
Fox 7

Protest outside T. Don Hutto Residential Center

"We know that there are thousands of men and women who are sexually abused in detention every single year and that usually, that results in less than 1 percent conviction rate and investigation rate for all of the cases. So for us, it's not just about Laura, it's about the larger systemic issue of sexual abuse and abuse of power that happens inside of detention centers," says Claudia Munoz, immigration programs director, Grassroots Leadership. [node:read-more:link]

Feb 16, 2018
Democracy Now!

Texas: Solitary Confinement for Asylum Seeker over Sexual Assault Allegations

"And in Texas, supporters of 23-year-old asylum seeker Laura Monterrosa say she was put in solitary confinement for 60 hours at the T. Don Hutto detention center outside Austin in order to pressure her to recant her allegations that she was sexually assaulted by a guard. ICE says Monterrosa was under “medical observation.” But she later made a strange call to her lawyer from an unusual phone number. Grassroots Leadership shared a recording with Democracy Now!

Laura Monterrosa: “I wanted to call you, because I wanted to tell you that everything I had said was false, and I was forced to tell you that, because, if not, they were going to lock me again in that room, and I didn’t want to be locked again in that room.”

Jan 17, 2018

Immigrant Woman Attempts Suicide at Detention Center After Facing Punishment for Avoiding Guard Who Sexually Abused Her

“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.” [node:read-more:link]

Jan 8, 2018

Advocates pushing for sexual misconduct to include immigrant detention

Grassroots Leadership continues to advocate for accountability for abuses of power in detention, including sexual assault. "Advocates say the national discussion of sexual misconduct should include immigrant detention facilities where they say cases of abuse have not been adequately investigated.

Advocates point to the FBI announcing that it had opened a civil rights investigation into a Texas case as a positive sign that federal authorities are responding to pressure." [node:read-more:link]

Dec 14, 2017
Texas Monthly

Disturbing Allegations

"A month after a woman detained in the T. Don Hutto immigration detention center in Williamson County alleged that a guard sexually assaulted her, the FBI is officially investigating the complaint, according to the Associated Press. According to immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, Laura Monterrosa said a guard repeatedly touched her breasts and legs without consent at the women’s federal detention facility. The group says Monterrosa’s complaints were ignored by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and by facility operator CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. After Monterrosa first alleged the sexual assault in November, two more women said they were sexually assaulted by guards at the facility. As of last week, Monterrosa was still being held at the detention center." [node:read-more:link]

Dec 13, 2017


"TAYLOR, Texas – The FBI is now stepping into investigate the case of woman who reported being sexually assaulted at a Central Texas immigrant detention center.

According to the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, the woman claims a female guard at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center repeatedly touched her breasts and legs without consent.

The FBI said they are opening a civil rights investigation into the case of Laura Monterrosa. While victims of sexual assault are usually not named, Monterrosa is publicly sharing her story to encourage other victims to speak out.

'I was harassed every time I was around her, but I was scared of saying anything for fear that doing so may negatively impact my case,' the inmate told Claudia Muñoz of the immigration rights group, Grassroots Leadership. 'After other guards noticed the harassment, they encouraged me to file a report, but nothing happened to the guard and I was transferred in retaliation."' [node:read-more:link]

Dec 13, 2017
Washington Post

FBI to examine alleged sexual abuse of detained immigrant

"SAN ANTONIO — The FBI says it will investigate allegations from a woman held in a Central Texas immigrant detention center who says a guard sexually assaulted her.

The bureau said Tuesday that it opened a civil rights investigation regarding the case of Laura Monterrosa, a detainee at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center.

According to advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, Monterrosa said a guard repeatedly touched her breasts and legs without consent. The group says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and facility operator CoreCivic didn’t respond to her complaints." [node:read-more:link]


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