On Monday, September 14th, legal advocacy groups filed a whistleblower complaint detailing appalling abuses against immigrants detained at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Irwin Detention Center. The complaint, submitted on behalf of ICE facility nurse Dawn Wooten, alleged the facility was failing to test detainees for COVID, a complaint consistent with previous reports on ICE’s failure to protect detainees from the pandemic. The complaint also detailed horrifying allegations of forced sterilizations of women detainees, often conducted by a single gynecologist. Wooten reported that hysterectomy rates at the facility were inexplicably high and noted detained people who had had a hysterectomy often were unaware of a medical reason for the procedure.
The alleged abuses of detained immigrants in ICE facilities are both unconscionable and entirely feasible given the Trump administration’s ongoing and callousabuses of detained immigrants. In the United States, forced sterilization has long been used as racist tool to control so-called “undesirable” populations like Black people and immigrants. It is hardly surprising Trump’s white supremacist administration has embraced this genocidal tactic, and we must demand Congress investigate and act to end this shameful abuse.