Pro-immigrant group demands release of detainees after news about forced hysterectomies

On a video statement, organizers from American Friends Service Committee in Florida reacted to recent reporting that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been performing hysterectomies on women held in an immigration jail run by a for-profit prison company in Georgia. But we were not surprised.

According to the statement, ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have a long history of human rights abuses and horrific medical neglect, eugenic practicies, endangering the lives of women inmantes without consequence. A 2019 campaign to shutdown the Homestead Child Prison Camp, AFSC reported cases of rape, pregnancies, forced medication, and HPV vaccines being provided to girls without parental approval. 

Just last week, AFSC also released a report called “Pregnant Women and Asylum Seekers during COVID-19: U.S. Government Abuses at the Border and Beyond” in partnership with the Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights First, and the Women’s Refugee Commission. 

That report highlighted, among other things, “harrowing accounts of pregnant people who were mistreated in DHS custody, denied medical treatment while in labor, and forcibly expelled to unsafe locations in Mexico days after giving birth.”

“We demand justice for the women that have suffered while detained in detention, not only in Georgia but across our borders. Unconsented hysterectomies are an act of ethnic cleansing and genocide. No one should be forced into life altering surgery without their consent. No one should be forced to sign a document they do not understand in their language. We demand for the closure of all detention centers, the release of all immigrants detained, abolishment fo ICE and no more congressional funding for ICE and CBP enforcement,” said Mariana Martinez on the video statement asking Congress to stop handing $25 billion each year to agencies that mistreat immigrants, causing irreparable harm and, in some cases, deaths. 

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