Immigrations and Customs Enforcement deported a woman Monday who has been a key witness in an ongoing investigation into sexual assault and harassment at an El Paso immigration detention center, The Texas Tribune reports. According to the woman’s lawyers, the Inspector General asked ICE to not deport the woman, a request that was ignored. Her lawyers had filed a habeas corpus petition in federal court requesting her supervised release and transfer to a nearby immigrant shelter last Friday.
The 35-year-old woman, an alleged victim of sexual assault whose name was withheld, described a “pattern and practice” of abuse to lawyers. The allegations include several guards “forcibly” kissing her and at least one touching her genitals, typically as she returned to her barrack from the medical unit. She said guards later threatened her for reporting the incidents. Two additional women have reportedly made similar allegations since the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General launched an investigation last month.