Group 6

How a Nation of Immigrants Treats Its Immigrants

Victoria Negrón and Caroline Roethlisberger

[player id=95]

A 48-year-old Jamaican woman, who had lived in the US for 20 years, got picked up by immigration authorities. After 4-months in the Irwin County Immigration Detention Center in Georgia for four months, she is woken up one morning by guards, who take her to the hospital and tell her she is getting surgery that day. She was told she had abnormally large cysts that needed to be removed surgically. She was skeptical, but standing in the hospital in shackled, she felt pressured to consent to the surgery. She only found out about the truth about her body once she was deported back to Jamaica. Several doctors reviewed her medical reports, and found that surgery was not required and she had actually had her uterus removed, sterilizing her. In a whistle-blower report put out by nurse, Dawn Wooten, exposed that this wasn’t the only time a woman in ICE detention had their uteruses removed without their full understanding and consent.

Further Reading 

Flores, Jerry. “ICE Detainees’ Alleged Hysterectomies Recall a Long History of Forced Sterilizations.” Latino Rebels, 30 Sept. 2020.


Moore, Steven. “Analysis | ICE Is Accused of Sterilizing Detainees. That Echoes the U.S.’s Long History of Forced Sterilization.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 29 Sept. 2020,


O’Toole, Molly. “19 Women Allege Medical Abuse in Georgia Immigration Detention.” Los Angeles Times, 23 Oct. 2020.


Board, Editorial. “Neglect Has Become Far Too Common at ICE Detention Centers.” The Boston Globe. 18 Oct. 2020.