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ICE detainees at one facility appear to have undergone ‘excessive’ gynecological procedures: Senate report

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees appear to have undergone "excessive, invasive, and often unnecessary gynecological procedures," at one of their privately managed facilities according to a Senate report released this week.

Whistleblower and advocacy groups lodged complaints in 2021 into the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, which is managed by LaSalle Southeast, alleging that a doctor was giving unnecessary hysterectomies on ICDC detainees.

The Senate committee did not disprove the whistleblower allegation, but said the doctor in charge of the facility, Dr. Mahendra Amin who holds no board certifications, was a "clear outlier" with regard to the number of procedures performed and the type of procedures he performed.

"ICDC housed roughly 4% of female ICE detainees nationwide from 2017 to 2020. Dr. Amin accounted for roughly 6.5% of total OB-GYN visits among all ICE detainees in the same time period," the report says. "However, he performed nearly one-third of certain OB-GYN procedures on ICE detainees across the country between 2017 and 2020 and more than 90% of some key procedures."

Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., the chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations -- the committee that produced the report -- decried the findings.

"This is an extraordinarily disturbing finding, and in my view represents a catastrophic failure to respect basic human rights," he said in a statement.

An independent doctor whom the committee had look at Dr. Amin's procedures, found he had "poor performance" on basic OB-GYN treatments and did not "follow the current recommendations regarding pap smears mangement."

The 108-page report says Dr. Amin is under criminal investigation and soon after ICE discovered these treatments they moved all detainees from the facility.

The committee also found that there were "failures" to secure informed consent of detainees at offsite medical procedures performed on them.

"Anyone held in the custody of the U.S. government should receive proper medical care," the report says. "The Subcommittee's investigation into ICDC found that was not always the case for the female ICE detainees at that facility. Additionally, for years, deficiencies in detainee medical care that were identified by multiple DHS oversight components went unaddressed."

At a hearing on Wednesday, the head of ICE's medical treatment said because ICE terminated the contract with the Irwin County Detention Center, the recommendations of the report couldn't be fully implemented.

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