US House condemns unnecessary surgeries on immigrants

Capitol Hill

Pramila Jayapal’s resolution seeks real probe into Indian American doctor’s actions.

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution condemning the unwanted, unnecessary medical procedures performed on immigrant women without their consent at a private detention center in Ocilla, Georgia.

Co-sponsored by 225 members led by Indian American Pramila Jayapal H.Res. 1153 also calls on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take a series of specific actions including immediately complying with all related investigations.

A New York Times report last week alleged that an Indian American doctor performed unneeded surgeries on immigrants detained at a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contracted center at the Irwin County

Interviews with 16 women treated by Dr. Mahendra Amin, and reviews of seven medical files, demonstrate a pattern of over-treatment with surgery, misleading case notes, and a lack of meaningful consent, Times said

RELATED: Indian American doctor performed unneeded surgeries on immigrants: NYT (September 30, 2020)

“This resolution mandates a real investigation must happen but it also sends a clear message to doctors contracted by private, for-profit incarceration facilities everywhere that we will not stand by and allow you to treat people this way,” said Jayapal.

“We will not stand by and allow history to repeat itself—a shameful history of medical abuse targeting Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, poor people and people with disabilities.”

“The women at Irwin, those who have been released and those who have been deported are brave and resilient, and I want them to know that the United States Congress sees you, hears you and will never stop fighting for you,” said Jayapal.

Last week lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf calling on him to urgently take specified actions and immediately respond to a set of pressing document requests.

Additionally, 173 members of Congress urged DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to open an immediate and full investigation in mideptember.

The resolution condemns performing unwanted and unnecessary medical procedures without the full, informed consent of individuals. It also recognizes that everyone deserves to control their own reproductive choices and make informed choices about their bodies.

Additionally, the resolution says that further accountability, oversight and transparency is necessary to protect people in the custody of ICE.

The resolution was endorsed by 54 organizations including the AFL-CIO; African Communities Together; Alianza Nacional de Campesinas; American Friends Service Committee; American Immigration Lawyers Association; Amnesty International USA; Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence.

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