A critically ill woman was apprehended this Wednesday from Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas and taken to a detention center. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency took her while she awaited an emergency brain tumor surgery.
Sara Beltran-Hernandez is a 26-year-old mother of two who was first taken by the ICE agents in November 2015 when she tried to fly to New York from El Salvador to visit her mother and other relatives who live there. She had been detained ever since in the Prairieland Detention Center located in Alvarado, Texas.
Beltran-Hernandez’s family had petitioned for asylum, arguing she was receiving threats of violence from a domestic partner and others.
Sara was transferred to the Fort Worth Hospital this February after claiming she had serious headaches, nosebleeds, and memory loss. Doctors at the hospital gave her the unfortunate diagnosis of a brain tumor. They had put her on a waiting list for an emergency surgery which was scheduled for this next weekend.
ICE officers removed Ms. Beltran-Hernandez on a wheelchair, having tied her up by her hands and ankles. Her team of lawyers and paralegals were appalled by ICE actions, amidst growing concerns about Trump’s presidential order to more aggressively pursue illegal immigrants living in the country.
The woman is now back at the Prairieland Detention Center. She hasn’t been able to receive visits from her family members.
ICE agency revealed in a statement released on Thursday that Ms. Beltran-Hernandez was allowed to speak to her family and legal team through the phone.
The agency also assured the woman would have 24-hour access to medical care and any specialized treatment required outside the detention facility.
According to the federal agency, a doctor determined Beltran-Hernandez was stable enough to be taken from the hospital. The woman would be checked by a medical specialist once again next week.
Chris Hamilton, a Texas lawyer, tried to visit Beltran-Hernandez in the Texas facility but he was threatened with arrest on the grounds of trespassing. The lawyer described the act as inhumane and heartbreaking.
“This is unacceptable under our Constitution, and unacceptable from the standpoint of basic human rights,” commented Hamilton for the Los Angeles Times.
Lawyers representing the woman have announced their plan to file an emergency appeal to get Ms. Beltran-Hernandez back to the hospital.
One of the paralegals involved in the case, Lorena Massoni, said that Beltran-Hernandez’s medical and legal teams were working on getting her the medical treatments she needed.
Will this become the new norm?
Observers were stunned by the news of the woman in critical condition being removed from the hospital. Activist fighting for immigrant rights reckoned this could be only one example of many others to become more common.
US president ordered for “a major crackdown,” and his administration called on ICE officials to implement it by deporting illegal citizens regardless of whether they had committed a serious crime.
Obama’s previous policies on deportation avoided detaining those with serious medical conditions whenever possible.
Rory Lancman, a councilman from Queens, explained what is most alarming is that immigration enforcement authorities are trying to penetrate through government at every level to see who they can “scoop up,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Source: LA Times