WASHINGTON, D.C. – The recent account, by a licensed practical nurse-turned-whistleblower, regarding the treatment of detained immigrant women at Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia is beyond horrific – it is unconscionable and inhumane.
According to the complaint, a number of immigrant women reported being recommended hysterectomies, with so many taking place, the whistleblower compared it to “an experimental concentration camp.” Many of these women underwent procedures, despite not being fully informed about the impacts – including the inability to later become pregnant. On top of this, the complaint further detailed the mishandling of the pandemic health threats at the facility, which is operated by a private prison company. Those who dared to speak out against these conditions were put into solitary confinement.
NOW renews the urgent call of our “Unlock the Future for Immigrant Women and Girls” campaign for real reform to the abusive immigration practices, ending the current detention prison system and demanding a bill of rights for women and children housed in immigration detention prisons that provides, at a minimum, access to vital human needs such as reproductive health care, feminine hygiene products, and mental health care.
NOW supports and urges the House of Representatives to take up and vote on federal legislation, the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act (H.R. 3918/S. 2113) and The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act (H.R. 2415,), which would address many of the issues highlighted in our Bill of Rights.
The United States has a long history of dehumanizing women of color and exerting undue control over their bodies which adds to the violence of white supremacy and structural racism. The individuals and institutions responsible for the forced sterilization that these immigrant women have suffered must be prosecuted to the full measure of the law. NOW is committed to ending the current cruel, costly, privately owned detention system and working for a fair and humane immigration process for women and children fleeing to the U.S. seeking refuge from sexual violence, assault, and poverty.