A Jamaican woman who illegally reentered the country to flee an uncle who raped her has been in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at Hudson County jail for a year and a half, according to The New York Daily News.
The woman, a New York City resident, said she was raped and tortured by her uncle in Jamaica for months in 2008. She reentered the United States around 2011 after being deported twice because she heard her uncle was looking for her in Jamaica.
A mother of two, she was arrested at her home in May 2017 as part of a roundup of illegal immigrants. She currently awaits court proceedings in New York, where there is a backlog of thousands of immigration cases, according to the paper.
“She feels like she’s worthless — she’s a screw up, she’s not there for her kids,” the woman’s 48-year-old husband said. “It’s tough. I’ve been without my wife for 16 or 17 months.”
According to the report, the woman detailed the alleged abuse in previous court hearings.
“I know I’ve done wrong, and I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart that I broke the laws of this great nation,” she said in court in December, “I was just looking for protection and that is all. I have nowhere else.”
Thursday’s freeholders meeting attracted about 100 people, far more than the roughly dozen that usually attend.
The ICE facility at the Hudson County jail has been the target of liberal activists and immigrant advocates, who have called on the county to end its agreement with the federal agency. The ICE contract is expected to bring the county $19 million this year.
The county recently announced its plan to end that partnership by no later than 2020.