TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Members of Congress to Hold the Administration Accountable for Immoral Medical Neglect and to Cut Funding for Immigrant Detention

September 18, 2020

This week, a brave whistleblower revealed egregious medical neglect and abuse within the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Irwin County Detention Facility in Georgia. In addition to refusing to test people in detention for COVID-19, ICE performed an alarming amount of hysterectomies on immigrant women against their will. These disturbing reports are the latest form of widespread, documented abuse and cruelty carried out by ICE and a reminder of the dark history of forced sterilization in the U.S., particularly of women of color, that is continuing today. It is vital that Members of Congress hear that their constituents are outraged by this abuse and want to see Congress cut funding for these agencies that perpetuate a racist, anti-immigrant agenda of violence and neglect that serve only to harm our communities.

Click “Send Email” or “Call Me” on the right to contact your 2 Senators and 1 Representative – and make sure to insert the name of your city or town in the first line!

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and [as a person of faith] I am deeply disturbed by reports of medical neglect and abuse, including forced hysterectomies of immigrant women, in the Irwin County Detention Facility in Georgia and the ongoing, widespread abuse of ICE. I urge you to:

  1. Publicly call for an immediate investigation by the DHS Office of the Inspector General.
  2. Publicly demand the immediate closure of the Irwin Detention Center.
  3. Reject any requests for extra money for ICE or CBP during federal funding negotiations on the continuing resolution, as increased funding only fuels immoral immigration enforcement and harm against our community members.

We should be investing in caring for our communities during this difficult time – not abuse, detention and family separation. I urge you to cut funding for immigrant detention, deportation, and border militarization, and uphold the best of who we are.”

Amplify on Social Media: Tweet the demands to your Members of Congress and use these hashtags: #ShutDownIrwin, #FreethemAll, #FreetheFamilies. Here’s a sample twitter post:

  • I’m speaking out against medical abuse and neglect in immigration detention camps — including horrifying reports of forced sterilization. Raise your voice with me. https://bit.ly/2REf7R0 #ShutDownIrwin #FreethemAll #FreetheFamilies  

Additional Resources and Ways to Take Action:

  • Sign this petition to demand ICE officials suspend doctor’s services for women in Irwin County Detention Center and sign this petition to demand the shut down of Irwin County Detention Center.
  • Sign this Families Belong Together pledge to commit to family dignity for all, to stop families being separated, and to stop ICE’s systemic inhumanity.
  • Volunteer with the South Georgia Immigrant Support Network for visitation via phone and video and/or volunteer to be a penpal for detainees. All languages are welcome. Email tovia@domesticworkers.org to volunteer.
  • Support and help protect whistleblower nurse Dawn Wooten by donating at this link.
  • Letter from the Government Accountability Project and Project South to Congress on behalf of whistleblower client Dawn Wooten.
  • For additional information, please follow and consider supporting the local activist groups on the ground: Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network.

Please find the Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s statement here.

Thank you for taking action- and please share this action alert with your networks!