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Congressman Sires’ Statement on Allegations of Abuses of Women by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement

Sep 16, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) released the following statement after news reports indicated that at least 17 women held in the custody of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the for-profit Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia were subjected to unnecessary medical procedures, including sterilization, without their knowledge or consent over a period of several years. The reports followed a whistleblower complaint made by a medical professional who had worked at the facility.

“These procedures represent a blatant and appalling violation of human rights,” said Rep. Sires. “I have joined my colleagues in two letters urging the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General to immediately investigate the allegations—which bear horrific resemblance to our country’s past use of forced sterilization on incarcerated people and minority communities—and I will continue working to ensure that ICE is held accountable. I also offer my deepest condolences to the women who have been harmed. I will not stop fighting to protect the health, safety, and dignity of immigrants, and to uphold the reproductive rights of every person no matter their immigration status.”