Advocates for a suicidal woman held at an immigrant detention center in Taylor who has alleged she was sexually assaulted by a guard have stepped up pressure on officials to release her amid reports that her health was declining.
Austin City Council Member Greg Casar issued a news release Tuesday asking for the release of Laura Monterrosa, but officials refused to allow him to visit her in the afternoon when he arrived at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, he said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials called Casar, he said, while he was driving to the center to tell him he could not visit Monterrosa because he was an elected official. He said prison officials told him when he tried to enter the facility that he couldn’t visit Monterrosa because of concerns he might talk to the media or had talked to the media.
“That’s really startling and disturbing because what we are trying to do is to protect someone who has filed formal complaints that are being investigated by the FBI of sexual abuse inside this prison facility, and in those sorts of situations we should not hide anything,” Casar said.
ICE officials did not respond to a request for comment.