Brain Tumor Patient Removed From Hospital, Detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A legal representative says the woman's hands and ankles were tied, despite her condition.

Photo Credit: mikeledray /

Less than a week after reports surfaced that an undocumented immigrant in El Paso, Texas, was detained after claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse and receiving a protective order, yet another undocumented immigrant has been rounded up while at her most vulnerable.

An undocumented Salvadoran immigrant known only as Sara was involuntarily taken to Prairieland Detention Center despite her having a brain tumor, according to a report by The Hill. At the time she was apprehended, Sara was a patient at Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, and receiving treatment for her illness.

Melissa Zuniga, a member of Sara’s legal team, told The Hill, “She told us they tied her hands and ankles in her condition. She’s complaining of a lot of pain.” Sara has been denied the ability to speak with her family and lawyers despite having received clearance from the hospital and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to The Hill.

Sara’s experience is part of what’s being described as a growing climate of fear among many undocumented immigrants. Undocumented agricultural workers in California have been keeping their children home from school, according to The New York Times. Meanwhile, more than a dozen Latino students have dropped out of a school district in Arizona within the last two weeks. In New York City’s Staten Island, day laborers are staying home. In all these cases, there is fear of being apprehended and deported.

This anxiety has been caused not only by President Donald Trump’s election in November, but by reports that the Department of Homeland Security is developing a mass deportation plan in the near future.

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and his work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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