ALVARADO -- An icy situation is unfolding in North Texas.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement - more popularly known as ICE - is detaining an illegal immigrant by the name of Sara Beltran Hernandez. She's been in custody since being caught trying to enter the U.S. in 2015 after fleeing El Salvador. Obviously, there`s nothing wrong with ICE doing that - because that`s what they do. But she has made headlines recently after it was discovered that she has a brain tumor.
Now, friends and family are working to get her released... they say - in order to get proper medical attention. The family also says they've petitioned the government for her asylum. They say if she goes back to El Salvador her life may be in danger because of a domestic abuser.
To make matters worse, her health seems to be deteriorating, and a judge ordered her deportation last month.
ICE told NewsFix in a statement:
On February 11, Ms. Beltran-Hernandez was evaluated by the Prairieland Detention Center (PDC) medical staff and referred to Texas Health Huguley Hospital, in Fort Worth, Texas, where she was admitted. On Wednesday (Feb 22), after she was determined by her physician to be stable, she was discharged from the hospital and returned to ICE custody at PDC. Ms. Beltran-Hernandez has an appointment next week with a specialist who will determine the course for future treatment. Until that time, ICE medical staff is keeping her under observation.
During her stay at the hospital, ICE ensured that she was able to speak to her family and to her attorney of record by phone. She also met with her attorney of record and consular representative in person today (Feb. 23). Like all detainees in our care, Ms. Beltran will continue to have access to 24 hour emergency medical care and access to any required specialized treatment at an outside facility.
Ms. Beltran-Hernandez, a citizen of El Salvador, entered the country illegally on Nov. 7, 2015 at or near Hidalgo, Texas. She was ordered removed from the country on Jan. 26, 2017, by an immigration judge with the U.S. Department of Justice. She has been detained at PDC since Jan. 26, 2017. She has no known criminal history.
- She was not shackled or scheduled for brain surgery;
- She has an appointment next week with a specialist to determine the appropriate next steps; and
- And she was not 'forcefully removed' from the hospital.
- Ms. Beltran-Hernandez was discharged from the hospital on Feb. 22 and returned to ICE custody at the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas. During her stay at the hospital, ICE ensured that she was able to speak to her family and to her attorney by phone. Like all detainees in our care, Ms. Beltran will continue to have access to 24 hour emergency medical care and to any required specialized treatment at an outside facility.
- ICE takes very seriously the health, safety and welfare of those in our care. Comprehensive medical care is provided from the moment the families arrive and throughout their entire stay at the facility. Medical staffing for the residents includes registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, licensed mental health providers, mid-level providers that include a physician’s assistant and nurse practitioner, a physician, dental care, and access to 24-hour emergency care. For medical care that cannot be addressed by the on-site medical staff, the center will make arrangements for a resident’s specialized treatment at an outside facility.