Williamson County

Mar 22, 2018
El Mundo

Libre Para Seguir Peleando

“Monterrosa se encuentra adaptándose a su nuevo entorno y estará recibiendo terapia y todos los recursos necesarios para recuperarse del trauma que ha experimentado”, dice Bethany Carson, organizadora de temas migratorios de Grassroots Leadership. [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 20, 2018

WilCo group demands action from county commissioners on sex assault investigation

"Grassroots Leadership members said the county is liable for the abuses that are happening to Monterrosa and should intercede with ICE for her release.

'The county is a party to the contract, along with ICE and CoreCivic for the T. Don Hutto Detention Center,' Grassroots Leadership member Bethany Carson said. 'They are liable for any abuses that happens as a party to the contract."' [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]

Dec 12, 2017

FBI Intervenes After Sexual Assault Allegations at Texas Immigrant Detention Center

“Laura wants justice and so far, it’s been delayed and denied,” Carson said. “What is happening to Laura is endemic of detention centers and almost impossible to completely eliminate unless we eliminate detention centers. A woman who spoke at Laura’s press conference was detained at Hutto seven years ago and said she saw inappropriate behavior from guards that was sexual in nature. There has been a trail of these incidents and most of them go unreported and this is why: they don’t get investigated and the women who come forward are shamed or transferred or otherwise punished. This is an extremely pervasive problem.” [node:read-more:link]

Dec 8, 2017
Austin Chronicle

T. Don Hutto Abuse Case Goes to FBI

"Outside the Williamson County Sheriff's Officeon Monday, Dec. 4, a group of activists held signs and criticized the department for its failure to transparently investigate alleged sexual abuse at T. Don Hutto immigration detention facility in Taylor. Last month, Laura Monterrosa accused a guard employed by private, for-profit detention operators CoreCivic of sexual abuse, and since then an outpouring of other women have stepped forward. And last weekend, according to Bethany Carson at Grassroots Leadership, a whistleblower inspired by Monterrosa confirmed pervasive issues of sexual abuse at Hutto and named two guards who have abused their power to the nonprofit, which has led the charge for justice for Monterrosa. 'This has been going on for a long time, since I was detained in 2009,' said Sulma Franco, a former detainee who's now an organizer with the Austin Sanctuary Network. 'The only thing that has changed is Laura's courage to speak up while she is still detained.'" [node:read-more:link]

Dec 7, 2017

Two More Women Come Forward About Sexual Harassment in Detention Center

"In the Williamson County federal immigration detention center, a privately owned facility, two more women have accused guards of sexually harassing them. Grassroots Leadership, an organization that works with communities across the nation to abolish for-profit private prisons, jails, and detention centers, spoke to a woman, identified only as Ana, about a female guard who repeatedly asked her about her sexuality, told her they were going to be together one day, and stared at her inappropriately in the facility’s recreational area.

Grassroots also said another woman identified as Esmeralda, currently at T. Don Hutto, claimed she no longer goes to the recreational area to avoid that same guard." [node:read-more:link]

Dec 5, 2017

Immigration Advocates Demand Answers After Sex Abuse Claims Surface Out of Texas Detention Center

"As people in different industries courageously share their stories, three women are drawing attention to the sexual abuse they have faced at an immigrant detention center in Texas. In a letter to immigration advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, Laura Monterrosa, a 23-year-old from El Salvador, detailed the abuse she endured at T. Don Hutto Residential Center. Immigration advocates in Austin are demanding answers from law enforcement about the allegations." [node:read-more:link]


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