EBCLC's Statement on Medical Abuse in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Centers

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September 17, 2020

EBCLC is proud to be an immigrant-serving organization that holds the dignity and the liberation of our clients as our highest value. Every day, we partner with undocumented students, essential workers, parents and community members, to take on a legal system entrenched in racism and dehumanization. Thus, we emphatically condemn reports of immigrant women enduring coerced hysterectomies in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers. While this week’s breaking news from Irwin County is still being reported, we’re already clear on this: our immigration legal system is inherently violent, and ICE will continue to perpetuate violence against women of color until we succeed in abolishing it. The abuse committed by United States agents and contractors in ICE facilities underscores the critical need to end immigrant detention, deportation, and family separation. When EBCLC screens families at local health clinics for immigration legal remedies, we are fighting to keep mothers, fathers, and children together against a state hell-bent on tearing them apart. When we advocate for our clients in removal proceedings, we are making the case that all people are entitled to health and safety against a state that would willingly expose them to illness and danger. And when we help young adults apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, we do so with the knowledge that obtaining legal status can be a matter of life or death for these beloved members of our community.

We approach our work with urgency. We know that the United States’ history of sexual abuse, medical malpractice, and reproductive injustice against people of color of all genders, and in particular incarcerated people, is endemic. ICE must be abolished, and we will continue to fight like hell to keep our clients out of its custody. EBCLC stands in resolute solidarity with all detained immigrants and undocumented people who are struggling to preserve their bodily autonomy and those who are leading our movements for change.