Laura Monterrosa

Feb 18, 2018
The Daily Dot

After sexual assault accusation against a guard, ICE detainee faces solitary

"Last month, Monterrosa attempted suicide after she was forced to eat in the same cafeteria as the guard she says assaulted her. She survived the attempt, but in the weeks following, she’s claimed the jail has taken punitive and inhumane steps to try to force her to change her story.

'I feel very desperate because I tried to report the abuse from ICE and facility officials, but they continue to psychologically abuse me through intimidation,' Monterrosa said in a statement last month following her attempted suicide: 'I do not feel safe or secure. I am not receiving the medical treatment or help I need.'" [node:read-more:link]

Feb 20, 2018
The Patch

Austin Advocates Call For Release Of Detained Migrant Woman

"Officials at Grassroots Leadership — an Austin-based national organization working against prison profiteering, mass incarceration and deportation — will ask Williamson County Commissioners Court members to intervene on behalf of an immigrant woman facing extreme hardship at a county detention center.

The group is acting on behalf of Laura Monterrosa, an asylum seeker from El Salvador being detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, which in actuality is a detention center for immigrant women. Advocates say the woman's mental and physical health continue to decline after she was driven to attempt suicide at the detention center in early January. Monterrosa has spent nearly nine months at the detention center where she previously spoke out about being sexually assaulted by a guard.

Since her outcry, the woman has been subjected to what Grassroots Leadership officials say is a pattern of retaliation — including being placed in solitary confinement for 60 hours earlier this month in what her advocates say was vengeance for her outcry." [node:read-more:link]

Community members call on Williamson County Commissioners to intervene for Laura Monterrosa’s immediate release from Hutto Detention Center

WHAT: Testimony at Commissioners Court
WHO: Community members who have visited with Laura
WHEN:   9:30 a.m., Tuesday February 20
WHERE: Williamson County Commissioners Court, 710 S Main St, Georgetown TX 78626

AUSTIN — Tomorrow community members will testify to request the intervention of Williamson County Commissioners Court on the case of Laura Monterrosa, an immigrant woman detained at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center. [node:read-more:link]

Laura Monterrosa’s mental health dangerously declines in detention

AUSTIN — Laura Monterrosa’s mental and physical health continue to decline dangerously after she was driven to attempt suicide inside detention in early January. Monterrosa has spent nearly 9 months in the T. Don Hutto Detention Center where she has spoken out about being sexually assaulted by a guard. Her mental health has continuously deteriorated under intimidation by officials at the detention center and she remains suicidal. [node:read-more:link]

Feb 14, 2018

ICE Allegedly Puts Woman in Solitary Confinement to Get Her to Recant Claims of Sexual Assault

"The FBI picked up the investigation in December. According to Grassroots Leadership, '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. On Monday, ICE officials attempted to silence Laura by terrorizing her with threats of continuous isolation.'" [node:read-more:link]

Feb 15, 2018
The Guardian

Activists say woman put in solitary after reporting assault by detention guard

"According to Grassroots Leadership, Monterrosa, who has health problems including stomach pain, was kept away from other detainees for about 60 hours last weekend.

'They were pressuring her to write a letter to them recanting her testimony but she has not done that. She is remaining strong and we’re out here showing her that we support her and we’re not going to stand for a victim of sexual abuse being intimidated in this way,' Carson said." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 14, 2018
Human Rights Watch

Can Immigrant Detainees Have a #MeToo Movement?

"Meanwhile, local advocates say that Laura is facing punitive measures for coming forward. According to them, Laura says detention center officials have threatened to keep her in solitary confinement unless she retracts her allegations – a terrifying prospect for someone like Laura who, the advocates say, has attempted suicide in detention.

All the reasons #MeToo as a movement to raise awareness was urgently needed elsewhere are magnified in the sprawling network of jails holding more than 40,000 non-citizens, including Laura, at any time." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 14, 2018


“This should not be happening in America,” said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. “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.” [node:read-more:link]

Feb 14, 2018
Austin American-Statesman

ICE denies woman punished for sexual assault allegations

"Protesters gathered Wednesday morning outside the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor alleging a woman had been held in solitary confinement for refusing to recant her allegation that she had been sexually assaulted by a guard.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents placed El Salvadorian immigrant Laura Monterrosa in solitary confinement at the center for 60 hours from 11 p.m. Friday to 11 a.m. Monday, saying she would only be freed from solitary if she took back her story, said Cristina Parker, a spokeswoman for Grassroots Leadership." [node:read-more:link]

Feb 16, 2018

Laura Monterrosa: Woman put in solitary confinement after claiming she was sexually abused by immigration prison guard

"A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a guard in a privately-run Texas immigration jail has been placed in solitary confinement in what advocates on her behalf say is part of a pattern of retaliation for going public with her allegations.

Laura Monterrosa, 23, was put in solitary confinement Friday night, and was told Monday that she would face repeated isolated until she publicly retracted her accusations of sexual abuse, according to advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.

'This is incredibly egregious that they are trying to silence a victim of sexual assault in this way,' Bethany Carson, an immigration policy and organising advocate with the group, told The Independent via phone on her way to the Hutto Detention Center to visit with Ms Monterrosa." [node:read-more:link]


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