AUSTIN — Today a federal judge in Austin heard the habeas corpus petition and temporary restraining order in the case of Laura Monterrosa, who has been speaking out about her sexual assault by a guard at the T. Don Hutto detention center. ICE and CoreCivic respondents were forced to provide Ms. Monterrosa with outside mental health treatment after expert witnesses who had provided psychological and psychiatric assessments for Ms. Monterrosa testified to the facility’s inadequate treatment for Laura’s mental health conditions. Ms. Monterrosa was denied release from detention.
“Laura must be released immediately to heal from her trauma and to continue fighting for justice.” said Bethany Carson, immigration researcher and organizer.
Advocates have called on Rep. Beto O’Rourke to intervene in Ms. Monterrosa’s case, arguing that he can and should be able to use his position as a U.S. representative to secure her release. Hundreds have signed a petition to calling on him to meet with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson to demand ICE release Laura immediately.
“Laura is facing a life or death situation, every day in detention and even more so if she is deported. We are calling on Rep. Beto O’Rourke to be a champion for Laura and all the women at Hutto,” said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director. “We cannot accept that a woman seeking asylum in our country can be sexually assaulted and disappeared with impunity. We need Rep. O’Rourke to fulfill his promise to fight for Laura meet with DHS Secretary Nielson and secure Laura’s release.”
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Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation and criminalization are things of the past.
Claudia Muñoz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-499-8111