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Teen mother at immigrant detention center in Texas attempts suicide

By
Danielle Haynes
The U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement building is seen in Washington on February 20, 2011. ICE officials said a woman sustained non-life-threatening injuries when she attempted to kill herself at a detention center in Karnes City, Texas. The woman's lawyer said she and her son had recently been denied asylum. File photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI
The U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement building is seen in Washington on February 20, 2011. ICE officials said a woman sustained non-life-threatening injuries when she attempted to kill herself at a detention center in Karnes City, Texas. The woman's lawyer said she and her son had recently been denied asylum. File photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

KARNES CITY, Texas, June 4 (UPI) -- A 19-year-old mother of one tried to kill herself Wednesday after she was denied parole and asylum from a family detention center for immigrants in Karnes City, Texas, her attorney said.

Lilian Yamileth has been detained at the Karnes County Residential Center with her 4-year-old son since October after she crossed the border from Mexico illegally. The native Honduran has said she left her home country because of rape, death threats and other abuse. She told immigration officials the father of her son abused her and threatened to kill her.

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"These are individuals who have gone through some awful, violent circumstances," Javier Maldonado, an attorney working on her case, told the Huffington Post. "Putting them behind walls is not proper care."

Other residents at the facility said they found Yamileth an hour after she locked herself in a bathroom and cut her wrist in an apparent suicide attempt, her lawyer and advocates said.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told McClatchy DC that a detainee "had a surface-level abrasion" on her wrist and that it was "a non-life threatening injury."

"The individual was evaluated by medical professionals onsite who confirmed that the minor injury was not life-threatening, but that the help of specialized mental health care providers was appropriate," ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said in an email to Huffington Post. "ICE takes the health, safety, and welfare of those in our care very seriously. ICE is closely monitoring the situation and continues to investigate the circumstances."

Yamileth had been denied asylum in February and her appeal was also rejected in May, said Mohammad Abdollahi, of RAICES, an immigration advocacy group. She had also been denied parole to leave the facility while her case was being considered.

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Abdollahi said RAICES intends to file a circuit court appeal for Yamileth's case.

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