Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia denied detainees essential health care rights and preformed unnecessary hysterectomies without consent.
The allegations arose after a whistleblower complaint was filed from a nurse at the center.
Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman José G. Pérez and Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa are calling upon Congress to investigate the situation and provide findings to the public.
“If true, these unnecessary surgeries are some of the most heinous human rights abuses ever conducted by our government. These stories are reminiscent of the forced sterilizations of Black women that Fannie Lou Hamer and so many others underwent and fought for justice over," Alderwoman Coggs said. “Far too often women and people of color are the targets of this practice, underscoring its use as a tool to further sexism and racism in our society. We must immediately demand action and justice for these women.”
Alderwoman Zamarripa noted the lack of adequate care and ill-treatment of immigrant detainees at the ICE facility seems to go further than just the alleged mass hysterectomies.
“We are hearing that detainees requesting medical help were routinely ignored, that staff there would refuse to test detainees for COVID-19, would allow employees to work while symptomatic and awaiting COVID-19 test results, and would brazenly withhold information from detainees and employees about who had tested positive, underreporting COVID-19 cases, and allowing the movement and transfer of detained immigrants who had tested positive for the virus,” Alderwoman Zamarripa said.
The resolution will be before the Common Council at the Council’s next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 9 a.m.