AOC Says U.S. 'Must Atone' for Rights Violations After Whistleblower's ICE Hysterectomy Claims

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said the U.S. must "atone" for human rights violations against immigrants, in response to a whistleblower's abuse allegations over the rate of hysterectomies and a refusal of COVID-19 testing at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility.

A Georgia nurse, Dawn Wooten, filed a complaint, issued through advocacy group Project South, with the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security in regard to the matters.

The complaint highlights allegations in regards to a "Lack of Medical Care, Unsafe Work Practices, and Absence of Adequate Protection Against COVID-19 for Detained Immigrants and Employees Alike at the Irwin County Detention Center."

The complaint highlights what it describes as "jarring medical neglect" at the facility.

It alleges a "refusal to test detained immigrants for COVID-19 who have
been exposed to the virus and are symptomatic, shredding of medical requests submitted by detained immigrants, and fabricating medical records."

"In addition, this complaint raises red flags regarding the rate at which hysterectomies are performed on immigrant women under ICE custody at ICDC," it adds.

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Ocasio-Cortez, responding to a report of the complaint on Twitter, wrote: "The fact of the matter is the United States has engaged in a program of mass human rights violations targeting immigrants.

"This includes mass child separation, systemic sexual assault of people in detention, kangaroo-court procedures, & more.

"Our country must atone for it all."

She was not the only lawmaker to express concern at the matter, with Rep. Mark Pocan branding the allegations "horrifying," sharing a report of the claims.

"Forced sterilizations are eugenics & a human rights abuse that must be fully investigated immediately," he added.

Sen. Ed Markey, responding to details of the complaint on Twitter, wrote: "Abolish ICE."

A statement from ICE, shared with Law and Crime, said it would not comment on matters referred to the Office of the Inspector General.

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not comment on matters presented to the Office of the Inspector General, which provides independent oversight and accountability within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security," it said.

"ICE takes all allegations seriously and defers to the OIG regarding any potential investigation and/or results. That said, in general, anonymous, unproven allegations, made without any fact-checkable specifics, should be treated with the appropriate skepticism they deserve."

Newsweek has contacted ICE, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security, Project South and the lawmakers mentioned for further comment.

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Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), is seen as U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill. She has said the U.S. "must atone" for "mass human rights violations targeting immigrants." Tom Williams/Pool/Getty Images
AOC Says U.S. 'Must Atone' for Rights Violations After Whistleblower's ICE Hysterectomy Claims | U.S.