Salvadoran Mom Released from U.S. Detention After Suffering 7 Seizures

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Feb 12, 2016 11:00 AM EST

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: Activists protest for the release of families held in detention centers in Texas and for the closing of the family detention centers on March 24, 2015 in New York City. The protesters rallied outside the Jacob K Javits Federal building, where immigration offices are located. (Photo : Andrew Burton/Getty Images )

A mom from El Salvador, who has been living in a U.S. detention center since January, has finally been released after suffering from seizure seven times. Her stay at the facility apparently triggered her condition, so the doctors approved her release, San Antonio Express News reported.

Susana Arévalo, 27, was sent to the detention center following the raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Atlanta on Jan. 2. She was brought to the facility along with 12 other families without any legal papers and she was told by ICE authorities that she will be deported. Her 6-year-old son with a learning disability was also detained, Latino Correspondent reported.

Arévalo arrived in the United States with her son in 2014 after fleeing El Salvador, where she worked as a resort staff. She left her country due to high incidence of gang violence and believed she will find refuge in the United States. Shortly before she arrived, a judge ordered her deportation but she thought her immigration lawyer was able to arrange for a stay on her case. She used to wear an ankle monitor and regularly checked in with ICE. But with the agency beefing its policy against illegal immigrant, she instead arrested and sent to the Dilley family detention center in the southern part of Texas.

Since staying at the facility, Arévalo revealed that she has had seven episodes of epileptic seizures. A spokesperson for the ICE insisted that the mother was given medication. However, a pro bono legal group has taken interest in her case and urged the doctors to release Arévalo so she can seek proper treatment outside.

"For me it's very bad with this medical condition," said one of the doctors via Houston Chronicle. The doctor regularly see the detainees, including Arévalo, whose epileptic seizures were determined to be triggered by stress and anxiety.

ThinkProgress reported that Arévalo also wrote a plea to President Barack Obama along with seven other immigrants detained at Dilley. "We need to be free like human beings to be able to fight our cases outside with dignity," their letter read.

On Feb. 5, Arévalo was finally allowed out of the facility after doctors made a case for her health with the ICE. However, the immigration agency emphasized that any other release of immigrants under their custody would be dealt on a case-to-case basis. They didn't elaborate why Arévalo was finally allowed to return to Atlanta.


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