Activists, lawyers work to free mother with brain tumor from ICE detention

- Human rights activists are trying to gain access to a mother from El Salvador being held by immigration officials at a Johnson County detention facility who is seeking asylum.

Sara Beltran-Hernandez is facing deportation, but attorneys are trying to get her released on bond because she has a brain tumor and her condition is worsening by the day.

Beltrtan-Hernandez's new attorney said Friday medical records confirm the 26-year-old woman does have a brain tumor.

“She's very weak and she's very frightened. She has constant pain in her head, dizzy spells, bleeding nose. She's not able to walk or to eat well. She's very scared,” said Fatma Marouf, Texas A&M Immigrant Rights Clinic.

Marouf said a Dallas immigration judge has refused three times to set a hearing because Beltran-Hernandez was considered a flight risk. Marouf filed a motion in court asking for a bond on humanitarian grounds to get her to a hospital.

“I'm going to file a motion to try and get Sara Beltran released from detention,” Marouf said. “I'm hoping the judge will reconsider the earlier decision to keep her detained because of her medical situation. She has a brain tumor and we don't know how long she has and she needs medical care.”

ICE said Beltran-Hernandez entered the U.S. illegally in Nov. 2015.

She was at Texas Health Huguley Hospital for treatment of a brain tumor. Her case has drawn national attention after ICE agents removed her from the hospital and brought her back to the Paririeland Detention Center in Alvarado.

ICE said they did it because doctors determined her condition was stable.

In Dallas on Friday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said the immigration system is already set up to meet the health needs of detainees.

“Of course we should care for any medical emergency and that's within our system to do that, but we've got to be enforcing our laws,” Cruz said.

Without referring to Beltran-Hernandez, Huguley Hospital said in a statement a person's status never affects their ability to get medical care.

A single protestor showed up at the detention center -- an Austin attorney not connected with the case.

"A full ghosted crackdown on anyone that is here illegally and doing it in ways that are just downright inhumane is, to me, against who we are as a people," said Kerry O'Brien.

ICE said in a statement that Beltran-Hernandez has an appointment with a specialist who will determine her future treatment.

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