United States. – Advocacy and legal support groups in the United States filed a complaint against personnel hired by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) after having performed mass sterilizations on migrant women at at least one of their detention centers (ICDCs) in Georgia.
Migrant women have had hysterectomies
According to the testimonies gathered, an as yet undestermined number of immigrants had hysterectomies performed, a surgical operation in which all or part of the uterus is removed. The authorities involved warned that this should be taken with «skepticism.»
Testimonies of migrant women would confirm «unmeaured» levels of this practice. Many of the women who underwent the procedure were reportedly «confused» when asked to explain why they underwent surgery; one of the detainees compared their dealings to prisoners in concentration camps.
A key testimony is that of the nurse, Dawn Wooten, who worked at the ICDC in Irwin County, Georgia, operated by LaSalle Corrections, a private prison company. He reported that a particular gynecologist, outside the facility, was systematically used, who almost always chose to remove all or part of the uterus from his detained patients.
In his words.
«Recently, a detained immigrant told Project South that she had spoken to five different women detained at the ICDC between October and December 2019 who underwent a hysterectomy,» the complaint says. «When she told them about the surgery, the women ‘reacted confusedly in explaining why they had made one.’ The woman told Project South that it was as if the women were ‘trying to tell themselves that everything will be fine.'»
The complaint was filed with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by advocacy groups Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service noted in this regard that «anonymous and un proven accusations, made without any specific fact to verify the facts» should be dealt with with skepticism. The agency said that «all accusations are taken seriously» and will therefore be referred to the DHS Office of the Inspector General.