"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.'" [node:read-more:link]
hutto detention center
"'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." [node:read-more:link]
"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." [node:read-more:link]
"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.'" [node:read-more:link]
"Advocates said in a statement Saturday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decided Friday to grant deferred action to Laura Monterrosa-Flores, who has been held for months at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center outside of Austin." [node:read-more:link]
"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." [node:read-more:link]
"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." [node:read-more:link]
"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.”' [node:read-more:link]