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Oversight and Homeland Security Committees Demand ICE Cease Deportations of Victims and Witnesses Alleging Medical Mistreatment at Detention Facilities

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 12, 2020)—Today, senior Members of the Oversight and Reform and Homeland Security Committees sent a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) demanding compliance with its policy against deporting witnesses and victims in ongoing investigations as the Committees are investigating allegations of medical mistreatment at Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC).

Today’s letter was signed by Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney;  Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Bennie G. Thompson;  Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Chairman Rep. Jamie Raskin;  Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, & Operations Chairwoman Rep. Kathleen Rice; and Oversight and Reform Committee Member Rep. Jim Cooper.

The Members noted that there are a number of investigations of ICE and its contractors being conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General, and several congressional Committees, including their own.

“We call on ICE to immediately cease efforts to deport any individuals who may be witnesses to or victims of the medical malpractice alleged at ICDC,” the Members wrote.  “Instead, ICE should work in direct consultation with DOJ, the DHS Inspector General, and our Committees to identify witnesses who must not be deported.”

A complaint filed on September 14, 2020, sets forth detailed allegations of intolerable, inhumane, and illegal mistreatment of detainees at ICDC, including hysterectomies performed without “proper informed consent.” 

“Deporting women who may be key witnesses in these proceedings would be an obstruction of justice and an abuse of authority,” the Members wrote.

The Chairs request written confirmation that ICE will immediately halt these deportations no later than November 13, 2020. 

Click here to read today’s letter.

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