Catherine Cortez Masto

09/16/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2020 17:46

Cortez Masto Joins the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Calling for an Investigation into Disturbing Medical Procedures at ICE Facilities

September 16, 2020

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined U.S. Representatives Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.-13), Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.-16), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.-36), Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in a letter to Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari calling for an immediate investigation into recent allegations that medical professionals at an ICE facility in Georgia conducted serious medical procedures on sometimes unwitting detained immigrants, including an abundance of hysterectomies on immigrant women.

'Yesterday, several news media outlets reported on horrific conditions and practices within an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Irwin County, Georgia brought to a light by a recent whistleblower complaint,' wrote the lawmakers. 'Most alarmingly, the complaint detailed a, '…high rate of hysterectomies among migrant women.' In light of this recent reporting, we implore the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to urgently investigate this complaint and make all documentation related to medical procedures on detained migrants available to the relevant congressional committees and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus immediately.'

BACKGROUND:

The lawmakers are appealing for the OIG to immediately provide Congress with all information related to medical procedures on detained migrants, especially at the ICE facility in the Irwin County detention center, and on the practices followed by medical professionals in detention facilities when invasive procedures are concerned. They are also requesting that the OIG investigate whether this is an isolated case or if this practice is implemented in other detention facilities and to review when ICE and LaSalle contractors became aware of these practices, how they became aware, and what actions, if any, they took.

A full copy of the letter can be found HERE.

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