UPDATED | March 02, 2017 4:45 PM
Sara Beltran Hernandez, the 26-year-old mother who was detained for 15 months after fleeing violence in El Salvador and was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, has been released and is no longer in ICE detention.
“I want to thank Amnesty International activists taking action on my behalf,” said Sara. “I truly appreciate your support, and your actions made a difference. Because of you, I can now get the medical care I need and be reunited with my family. Thank you.”
A lawyer for Sara Beltran Hernandez says the judge’s decision Thursday in Dallas means she may be able to leave detention within hours.
Amnesty International campaigned for her release and mobilized members across the country to flood ICE with calls asking for her freedom.
The 36-year-old is pursuing medical care as she seeks asylum in the United States, arguing that she’d be subjected to domestic abuse and gang violence if she returned to her home country.
“Sara never should have been held for so long in the first place, let alone with a medical issue. It is unconscionable to treat people fleeing violence and danger as if they are criminals,” said aid Eric Ferrero of Amnesty International USA. “Applying for asylum should not mean giving up one’s human rights in the process.”
Beltran Hernandez was hospitalized for nearly two weeks after collapsing last month at the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, south of Fort Worth.
She had sought a conditional release to have more control over her medical care. She was denied bond on two prior occasions.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)