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Continued: Immigrant held in Sherburne County jail glad to ‘breathe fresh air’

  • Article by: ALLIE SHAH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 3, 2013 - 8:56 PM

After waiting at ICE, an immigration official approached her and delivered the stunning news — she was getting out of jail.

She picked up her personal belongings — some clothes, a Disney Princess coloring book, a bag of letters from friends and her legal papers. She says an immigration official told her: “Tomorrow I want to see you here at 9 a.m.”

A woman in the waiting room wished her well, and gave her a statue of the Virgin Mary and a bottle of Mountain Dew. “It tasted like the best wine,” said Dolores, who says she wasn’t allowed to drink soda in jail.

As she headed out the door with her attorney, Sarah Brenes, Dolores paused, bracing herself for the sunlight. “She said, ‘I feel like a vampire,’ ” Brenes recalled.

It was cloudy though, and Dolores was grateful. “I wanted to throw myself in the snow and run and scream,” she said.

She cannot leave the state, she must check in with immigration officials regularly and she must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet around her ankle. She has to charge it at least twice a day.

For now, she’s staying at a women’s shelter. It’s a place with a real bed, real food and a real shower, Dolores said. And the mother of three can call her children, who still live in Honduras — one of whom she hasn’t spoken to since she was jailed.

“I can breathe fresh air. I can see some friends. I feel good.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Allie Shah • 612-673-4488


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  • Dolores, pictured at the Minneapolis Public Library, left the Sherburne County jail last week and is staying at a women’s shelter.

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