You turn to us for voices you won't hear anywhere else.

Sign up for Democracy Now!'s Daily Digest to get our latest headlines and stories delivered to your inbox every day.

Sen. Ossoff Grills ICE Official About Invasive Procedures Performed on Prisoners

HeadlineNov 17, 2022

A Senate investigation has confirmed immigrants who were held at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia endured excessive and unnecessary gynecological procedures — largely without their consent — and said Immigration and Customs Enforcement ignored the abuses for years. The investigation was in response to dozens of disturbing reports from women detained at Irwin who were subjected to hysterectomies by Dr. Mahendra Amin, a local doctor known as “the uterus collector,” from 2017 to 2020. Amin was subpoenaed but invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. He has not been criminally charged and continues to practice medicine in rural Georgia.

On Wednesday, Georgia Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff grilled Stewart Smith, the ICE official in charge of medical care, over how his agency failed to stop the abuses.

Sen. Jon Ossoff: “What would you say to the women who went through this?”

Stewart Smith: “Well, I — it’s disheartening. It’s very” —

Sen. Jon Ossoff: “It’s disheartening?”

Stewart Smith: “And it’s very disturbing. It’s very disturbing. And we — any responsibility that we have, we take very seriously. We want to fix this system so it doesn’t happen again. Uh” —

Sen. Jon Ossoff: “Dr. Smith, you have full responsibility. We’ve established that. And this is worse than disheartening.”

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation