Washington, D.C. September 23, 2020 – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Vice Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf that calls on him to urgently take specified actions and immediately respond to a set of pressing document requests related to the growing number of reports involving unnecessary or non-consensual medical procedures performed on women detained at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga. The lawmakers called for the requested documents by Oct. 2.
Their letter follows horrific allegations that Dr. Mahendra Amin performed unnecessary gynecological medical procedures—including full or partial hysterectomies and other surgeries involved women’s reproductive organs—without the knowledge of the women. Many of the procedures can result in sterilization. An initial review of available medical records by independent gynecologists also raises serious questions about whether patients provided informed consent and whether Dr. Amin adhered to the prevailing standards of care.
“These allegations suggest the existence of systemic problems that must be addressed immediately,” wrote the lawmakers. “It is absolutely essential that Dr. Amin not be permitted to see patients during the pending investigation by the DHS Inspector General. It is also critical that the patients are allowed to remain in the United States and permitted to safely and freely share their experiences with the Inspector General and Congress as part of pending investigations.”
The lawmakers urged Acting Secretary Wolf to pause the removal of any individuals who experienced medical procedures at the facility, and allow them to have immediate access to adequate, safe and consensual medical treatment. Their letter also called on DHS to ensure individuals do not experience retaliation at the detention center. Additionally, they demanded that DHS preserve all relevant records.
Today’s letter also identifies more than one dozen requests for relevant documents, data and communications related to Dr. Amin and the Irwin County Detention Center. This includes pertinent financial documents such as copies of records of payment to Dr. Amin or his companies, his contract with the detention center, bills Dr. Amin submitted and records of reimbursements. The lawmakers also requested documentation showing the number of appointments Dr. Amin had with women detained at the facility, the number of surgeries he performed on them, the total number of complaints concerning Dr. Amin that were submitted by women at the detention center and the number of women who were deported after their procedures.
The full letter is available here.