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Oversight Committee Chairs Demand “Emergency Investigation” into Alleged “Medical Atrocities” in ICE Detention

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 15, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari in response to horrific allegations in a whistleblower complaint filed yesterday.

“We are writing to request an emergency investigation into shocking allegations of medical atrocities and detainee mistreatment at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC),” the Chairs wrote.  “Unfortunately, this is not the first time that serious concerns have been raised about this facility.  As you know, our Committee staff conducted a site visit at this facility in September 2019, during which they observed alarmingly urgent health and safety issues.  In fact, Committee staff were so disturbed that they raised concerns directly with the ICDC warden during the visit.”

Yesterday’s complaint is based on reports from ICDC detainees and a whistleblower who works in the facility as a nurse, and it alleges “jarring medical neglect” and “red flags regarding the rate at which hysterectomies are performed on immigrant women” by a doctor to whom the facility regularly sends women detainees.

The Chairs also released a November 2019 letter that Chairwoman Maloney sent to the Inspector General, urging “a thorough review by your office” of ICDC and other ICE detention facilities in Georgia based on health and safety issues that Committee staff observed.  In addition to requesting an investigation into yesterday’s whistleblower complaint, the Chairs requested an immediate briefing on actions the Inspector General has taken in response to the Chairwoman’s previous letter.

Click here to read today’s letter.

Click here to read Chairwoman Maloney’s November 2019 letter.

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