“Laura is adjusting to her new environment and recovering from the trauma she has experienced,” Grassroots Leadership said in a statement. “Advocates will follow-up with a statement from Laura in the coming days.” [node:read-more:link]
AUSTIN — Laura Monterrosa was released from detention Friday evening. Her release is the result of a months long campaign that drew support from around the country.
“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]
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. [node:read-more:link]
"According to Grassroots Leadership and advocates, 'over the past four months, community advocates have witnessed ICE and CoreCivic’s retaliation tactics against Laura escalate from verbal aggression to threats of administrative discipline and indefinite periods of confinement.' Following 60 hours in solitary—which is torture—'advocates are calling on the Taylor Police Department to investigate ICE’s intimidation of Laura':
'This should not be happening in America. 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. This is against the law. There is an ongoing FBI investigation and ICE is trying to convince this witness to change her story.' said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. 'This is one of the most egregious abuses I have ever witnessed.”'
"Bethany Carson, an immigration policy researcher for Grassroots Leadership, told Salon that after Monterrosa wrote the letter, things got worse for her. Carson described an escalating series of tactics — especially the use of solitary confinement — that she believed were meant to intimidate Monterrosa into retracting her accusations against the guard, which Monterrosa hasn't done. Carson also says Monterrosa has been subjected to ongoing interactions with her alleged abuser, which has led to Monterrosa hiding in her room, refusing food and feeling afraid to walk around the facility for fear of confrontation.
In January, Carson said, Monterrosa 'called me and told me that she had taken over 50 pills, mostly pain medication.' Carson then described a series of intense phone calls with officials as she tried, from outside, to get help. Officials at the facility ultimately intervened to saved Monterrosa's life, Carson said." [node:read-more:link]
"In a 10-page complaint filed in federal court in Austin late Friday, Laura Monterrosa’s attorneys alleged that a psychiatrist at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, near Austin, didn’t evaluate Monterrosa fully. Consequently, the attorneys assert Monterrosa isn’t being treated adequately for her diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder." [node:read-more:link]
"'I didn’t come here because I wanted to,' says Laura Monterrosa, an El Salvadoran detainee at the Texas immigration detention center, who reportedly remains suicidal after a female guard allegedly assaulted her for four months. Monterrosa came to the US after sustaining abuse in El Salvador for being gay. She was put in solitary confinement in Februarybecause the facility does not have separate rooms for 'segregation purposes.' Monterrosa is detained at the for-profit T. Don Hutto Detention Facility, a drive from Austin, Texas. Monterrosa, who has allegedly attempted suicide at least three times, was also reportedly denied therapy. She is not the first person to speak up about the conditions at T. Don Hutto." [node:read-more:link]
"Austin-based Grassroots Leadership, an group advocating for immigrants, has long called attention to conditions at the Taylor detention center. More recently, they have risen awareness of the plight of Monterrosa, whose health has declined since being forced into solitary confinement after making her outcry that has prompted her to attempt suicide, advocates have reported." [node:read-more:link]