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Salvadoran Mom With Brain Tumor Granted Bond, Released From ICE Detention

by Sandra Lilley /
Photo of Sara Beltran Hernandez and her son.
Photo of Sara Beltran Hernandez and her son.Melissa Zuniga / Melissa Zuniga

A woman who was diagnosed with a brain tumor while she was in an immigration detention facility has been released to her family after she was granted bond. The news follows an intense effort from her family as well as by Amnesty International, who had called her detention after her brain tumor diagnosis "inhumane."

Sara Beltrán Hernández, 26, was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in Texas, according to a statement from ICE. The statement added "she has no known criminal history."

RELATED: Opinion: My Sister is Battling a Brain Tumor, Why Doesn't ICE Let Her Go?

Eric Ferrero, from Amnesty International, said in a statement that Sara and her family are "overjoyed" that she will be with her loved ones. “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. Applying for asylum should not mean giving up one’s human rights in the process.”

Photo of Sara Beltran Hernandez and her son.
Photo of Sara Beltran Hernandez and her son.Melissa Zuniga / Melissa Zuniga

Beltrán Hernández, who is from El Salvador, had crossed the border in November of 2015 near Hidalgo, Texas. Her family has said that she fled domestic and gang violence and once in the U.S., presented her case to an immigration attorney, but the paperwork was not processed on time. According to DHS, she was ordered removed from the country on Jan. 26 and was at the Prairieland Detention Center when she fell ill and was taken to a hospital, where she was told she had a brain tumor.

After treatment, she was taken back to the detention center.

In an opinion piece, her sister Raquel Hernández wrote that "now that she is in desperate need of potentially life-saving surgery, it is even more critical that she be released — on parole if necessary — so she can get the medical care she needs and be with her family."

According to ICE, Beltrán Hernández was able to speak to her family and to her attorney during her hospital stay.

"Like all detainees in our care, Beltrán-Hernandez will continue to have access to 24-hour emergency medical care and access to any required specialized treatment at an outside facility," stated ICE.

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