Claims of ICE detention center hysterectomies spark investigations

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Investigations are underway into claims that an Immigration and Customs detention facility in Georgia performed unnecessary and involuntary hysterectomies on immigrant women.

The whistleblower complaint from an ICE detention center nurse alleges the hysterectomies were performed at the Irwin County Detention Center.

“This has raised the alarm at the highest levels,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX).

Escobar said to discover the truth, House Democrats launched investigations and are racing to conduct hearings.

“Complainants, whether they are victims or whether they are witnesses, get deported pretty quickly,” Escobar said.

The Congresswoman said she’s expecting push-back from the Department of Human Services.

“They’ve been resistant, absolutely resistant to Congressional oversight,” she said.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal tweeted there may be a minimum of 17 women who were subjected to unnecessary procedures with the clear intention of sterilization.

“Often these abuses occur at for-profit facilities,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). “I think that that system needs to end.”

Merkley and other lawmakers also want an inspector general investigation into whether the Trump administration ordered the sterilizations.

“Horrific things have happened because of the attitude of the administration of treating immigrants in an un-human, un-humanitarian fashion,” Merkley said.

ICE disputed the claims in a statement, saying that since 2018 only two individuals have had hysterectomies at the Irwin County Detention Center.