Health

Report: ICE Removes Immigrant With Tumor From Hospital

| by Michael Allen

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents allegedly removed a female undocumented immigrant who has a brain tumor from Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, forcibly taking her to the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas.

"She told us they tied her hands and ankles in her condition," Melissa Zuniga, one of the immigrant's lawyers, told The Hill. "She's complaining of a lot of pain."

According to Zuniga, communication has been cut off between the immigrant, known only as Sara, and her family and lawyers, even though ICE previously allowed Sara's mom to have unrestricted phone access.

Danielle Bennett, a ICE public affairs officer, told The Daily Beast: "Requests by family members to visit ICE detainees who have been hospitalized are permitted but must be approved in advance with ICE and the appropriate consulate. ICE is currently reaching out to the family’s attorney to explain the process."

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Sara, who is from El Salvador, reportedly suffered serious headaches and collapsed on Feb. 10 while in custody at the detention center. She was subsequently transferred to the hospital.

The Daily Beast reported that doctors diagnosed the brain tumor and planned to perform surgery, but did not.

"Huguley no longer wants to be in charge of her case because they’re getting hounded by calls and a potential lawsuit," Zuniga told The Hill.

Sara's family is considering a lawsuit against the hospital because they believe her health declined during the 12 days that she was admitted.

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Sara's lawyers told The Daily Beast that Sara told her mother in a phone conversation on Feb. 19 that Sara had been bleeding through her nose in addition to experiencing convulsions and a degree of memory loss.

According to Zuniga, the 26-year-old undocumented woman said that her doctors gave her a CD with her medical records and told her not to give it to ICE, but the CD was taken away from her at the detention center.

The Daily Beast notes that Sara admitted in immigration court that she illegally came into the U.S. on on Nov. 4, 2015, where she was caught by Border Patrol agents.

Border Patrol agent Roberto Gonzalez Jr. asserted that Sara told him on Nov. 8, 2015 that she did not come to the U.S. for asylum, but rather to gain employment.

However, Sarah said in court on Jan. 12, 2016 that she did come to the U.S. seeking asylum, as she was afraid that her gang-affiliated aunt would murder her because she was dating a police officer in El Salvador.

An immigration judge ordered Sara deported since she'd missed a deadline to file for asylum. Sara's lawyers have been working on an appeal while she has remained in custody.

Sources: The Hill, The Daily Beast / Photo Credit: U.S. Government/Wikimedia

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