Donald Trump’s mass-deportation agenda may result in the death of a 26-year-old undocumented woman from El Salvador.
Yesterday, The Daily Beast reported how Sara, a young woman fleeing gang violence in her native country, was being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents a the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas, as she complained about massive headaches.
The cause of the headaches? A brain tumor that doctors identified after Sara fainted and was finally hospitalized at Texas Health Huguley Hospital in Burleson, Texas.
As reported by Betsy Woodruff from The Daily Beast:
Trump’s executive orders on immigration will dramatically expand the number of people facing detention and deportation — including people who haven’t been convicted of any violent crimes, like Sara, and people who have lived in the U.S. for years. Advocates say that means situations like hers will become much more common.
“You are bound to see more cases like this if ICE fulfills the government’s orders and dramatically expands detention,” said Bob Libal, who heads Grassroots Leadership, an activist group based in Austin that opposes immigrant detention and deportation. “You are bound to see more stories where people have suffered these kind of medical tragedies in detention.”
Despite the severity of her condition, Sara wouldn’t have seen a neurologist until next week. Instead of allowing the hospital to care for her, ICE forcibly sent her back to Prairieland Detention Center. As reported by Rafael Bernal at The Hill:
“She told us they tied her hands and ankles in her condition,” Melissa Zuniga, a member of Sara’s legal team, told The Hill. “She’s complaining of a lot of pain.”
Zuniga said Sara, 26, was cut off from communication with her family and lawyers, even after the hospital and ICE had cleared Sara’s mother for unrestricted phone access.”
ICE agents have severely limited contact between Sara and her family members. Currently, her two children are in hiding in El Salvador, fearful that gangs will target and torture or kill them.
“All this dying woman wants is for her children to be with her mother, sister, and stepfather before she passes on,” Sara’s legal team said in a statement to America’s Voice. Sara’s condition is deteriorating rapidly. Yesterday, after finally being allowed to speak with her mother on the telephone from her hospital room, Sara did not recall the conversation a mere three hours later.
While her family is currently flying down to Texas, they fear that Sara will die inside Prairieland Detention Center without seeing her ever again.
In the meantime, Sara’s lawyers are applying for a humanitarian release, but ICE has yet to supply her medical records (a vital component of the application), 13 days after the legal team’s initial request.
While Sara survived the night, her condition remains critical. This is just one of far too many cases that highlights the inhumanity and cruelty of Trump’s mass deportation policies.