Undocumented immigrant asks to be released from jail - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Undocumented immigrant asks to be released from jail for medical procedure

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Ruth Alvarez says breast cancer has been her personal prison; she is now facing the disease behind bars.

Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies arrested Alvarez-- an undocumented immigrant-- in early April for working with a false identification. She says her arrest comes just a few weeks away from her planned mastectomy scheduled for April 23rd. Alvarez is asking to be release so she can undergo the surgery with her family by her side.

"To go through breast cancer is already hard, it's so hard to go through treatments seeing how your whole body, your whole life kinda change," said Alvarez.
    
MCSO first arrested Alvarez in September 2013 for allegedly working with a false ID and turned her over to Immigrations & Customs Enforcement. Alvarez' lawyer says ICE released her so she could get chemotherapy. Now she is back in jail, facing the same charges from the Maricopa County Attorney.

"I know it was wrong, but at the time I only used it to get a job," said Alvarez.

Alvarez says she is willing to face the charges, but is asking first to finish battling her cancer at home and with her family.

"If they want to come back and get me that's fine. I just want to be out with my family for those days," she said.
    
Alvarez has been detained in the Estrella Jail since April 1st. She gets the same food and faces the same conditions as any other inmate. 

Her attorney has asked the Maricopa County Attorney to release her for humanitarian reasons.

"Arizona has a statute of limitations for seven years, what is the concern to prosecute her at this moment, at such a very difficult health state?" said Jose Penalosa, her attorney.
    
Alvarez says doctors in the jail tell her she will still get her mastectomy in jail at some point. Her attorney says having her face the surgery and recovery alone is a punishment greater than the crime.

"If you don't have the support of nobody and you are lonely in the bed, and tired all the time with handcuffs on, I don't think that will help," said Alvarez.

A spokesperson for Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said that they will not comment on Alvarez's case.

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