hutto detention center

Feb 26, 2018
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Newsweek

Sexual Abuse Allegations At Texas Immigrant Detention Center Prompt Democrat Calls for Investigation

"After Monterrosa made public claims that she endured repeated sexual assault at T. Don Hutto Detention Facility, which is run by a for-profit prison company around 30 miles outside of Austin, she was scheduled for a disciplinary hearing for not eating for over a week. According to Grassroots Leadership, the organization advocating for Monterrosa, she'd stopped going to the cafeteria for fear of facing her alleged abuser there.

Before she could attend the hearing, however, she attempted suicide for the first time and was later placed in solitary confinement and barred from seeing her attorneys. Over the last month, activists say she's experienced an onslaught of retaliation tactics, culminating in 60 additional hours of solitary confinement, coercion to recant her accusations and two more suicide attempts." Read more about Sexual Abuse Allegations At Texas Immigrant Detention Center Prompt Democrat Calls for Investigation

Feb 26, 2018
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Remezcla

These Harrowing Stories Shed Light on the Rampant Sexual Abuse in Immigrant Detention Centers

"On January 12, Laura Monterrosa – an immigrant from El Salvador detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center – attempted to take her own life. Detained in May 2017, Laura reports that a guard began to sexually abuse her in June.

Following the rise of #MeToo – a hashtag victims of predatory behaviors have used to talk about their experiences – Monterrosa courageously came forward with her story. But days after she shed light on the harassment, ICE said her claims were 'unsubstantiated.' Not only was her story dismissed, but she also had to continue seeing her abuser. With no on putting an end to this, Laura took 51 pain pills, attempting to commit suicide.

After returning from the hospital, officials placed her in solitary confinement for 60 hours – an ICE order many believe is retaliatory. There’s also reports that the detention center used isolation as a way to get her to recant her story. In the weeks since her story went viral and put a bigger spotlight on the many ways immigration detention centers treat detainees as dispensable, she remains suicidal. Laura has not received the mental and physical attention she desperately needs.

People on the outside are fighting for her as she struggles on the inside. Grassroots Leadership provides crucial information about her case, and activists have come together to demand her prompt release." Read more about These Harrowing Stories Shed Light on the Rampant Sexual Abuse in Immigrant Detention Centers

Feb 26, 2018
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AP

US Reps: ICE Should Review Sexual Abuse Cases In Detention

"More than 40 congressmen have signed a letter calling on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate its handling of sexual assault reports in its detention facilities.

The letter released Monday is based on the case of Laura Monterrosa, a detainee at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Central Texas. The FBI is investigating her allegation that a female guard assaulted her.

U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Lloyd Doggett, both Democrats, wrote that they were concerned about the 'prevalence of reports of sexual assault and abuse' in Texas immigration facilities.

The advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, which is working with Monterrosa, says detention center employees are pressuring her to recant her allegations. ICE says it 'fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference.”' Read more about US Reps: ICE Should Review Sexual Abuse Cases In Detention

Feb 26, 2018
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KURV

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." Read more about Congressmen Call On ICE To Investigate Sex Abuse In Its Detention Facilities

Feb 25, 2018
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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."' Read more about Austin Council Members Seek Access To Detained Immigrant

Feb 23, 2018
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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." Read more about Lawsuit: Taylor facility forces detainees to work for little or no pay

Feb 23, 2018
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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." Read more about Austin council members request visit with woman in letter to ICE

Feb 21, 2018
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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." Read more about Suffering in Silence: Sexual Abuse in Immigrant Detention Centers

Feb 20, 2018
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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." Read more about Austin council member denied a visit with asylum-seeker in detention

Feb 20, 2018
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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." Read more about Austin City Council member not allowed to visit woman in detention

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