Legislative Women's Caucus Releases Statement Regarding Forced and Coerced Sterilization in ICE Detention Centers

Sep 21, 2020
Sergio Reyes (916) 651- 4020

September 18, 2020
Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari
Department of Homeland Security
1100 Alabama Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20032

Dear Inspector General CuffariDear Inspector General Cuffari:

On behalf of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, we write to you regarding allegations that hysterectomies and tubal ligations were performed on women without their consent at a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia. If true, these actions taken by medical professionals at this facility are horrifying and absolutely intolerable. As such, we demand that your office immediately:

1) Launch an investigation into these serious allegations at the Georgia facility;
2) Review existing related policies and procedures at all ICE facilities across the nation, including those located in California;
3) Conduct a comprehensive review of any pending medical procedures to ensure that they are medically necessary and that the individuals have provided full informed consent in their preferred language.

Enshrined in the United States Constitution is our fundamental right to make decisions over our own bodies. No one, regardless of their immigration or incarceration status, should be forced or coerced to receive a medical procedure that they do not consent or understand. The United States has a long and shameful history of forced sterilizations, often targeting women, communities of color and other disenfranchised populations, so it is vital that you act swiftly and decisively to make needed changes.
You must ensure that no more detainees suffer from these cruel and inhumane practices. The California Legislative Women’s Caucus stands in strong and unequivocal opposition to coercive and forced sterilization procedures.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter. We look forward to receiving your response to our concerns in the very near future.