Californian immigrants and immigrants’ rights advocates may be interested to hear that a 27-year-old woman was finally freed from a controversial detention. The woman, a mother of two children, was originally detained at the beginning of the year as part of a series of high-profile immigration raids that were the subject of significant public backlash. Reports said that the 27-year-old, an asylum seeker of El Salvadorean origin, suffered no less than seven seizures during her time at Texas’ Dilley family detention center.
The woman was just one of more than 100 individuals who were taken into custody since the beginning of the year, and approximately 80 percent of them were subsequently deported. The raids by federal officials swept up mothers and children who were sent to detention centers pending their deportation.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials failed to reveal why they released the woman in early February. During her time in detention, her case garnered attention from activists and supporters across the country, many of whom believed that her medical status was potentially worsened by her custody. The week before her release, she joined a number of other women who wrote a letter appealing personally to President Obama to release them so that they could push their cases forward.
Politically-motivated deportations can wreak havoc on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. These individuals may not receive appropriate medical attention or be granted access to the resources they require to protect their minor children and other family members. Being detained can also make it far more difficult to build a case effectively. Those who face immigration enforcement actions may wish to meet with an attorney so that they can get a better understanding of their deportation defense options.