Physicians and Medical Professionals Demand:

Stop ICE from continuing to place individuals, families, communities and indeed the world at risk. CLOSE Irwin County Detention Center. Free them all.




A whistleblower report that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed the reproductive organs of imprisoned women without their knowledge or consent and under circumstances of questionable medical need has rightfully created widespread reactions of horror.[1] Details continue to emerge, none of which are surprising to anyone familiar with the policies and practices of ICE. This kind of monstrously cruel, abusive and morally indefensible behavior is true to form. 

As medical professionals, many of whom have first-hand experience evaluating the human rights abuses in immigration detention, we know that this behavior goes far beyond a single facility or an individual bad actor. The horrors of the Irwin County Detention Center are the horrors of ICE and a racist immigration system; the cruelty is a core feature of a program that systematically dehumanizes and destroys individuals and families, and corrupts all who touch it.

ICE willfully ignored instructions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce unnecessary interfacility transfers and continues to deport thousands of individuals infected with COVID-19, devastating immigrant families and amplifying a global pandemic.[2] For months ICE refused to halt immigration raids as COVID-19 ravaged the United States, consuming precious personal protective equipment otherwise destined for healthcare workers and creating situations both in the community and in detention centers in which social distancing guidance was impossible, contributing to further spread.[3] The diabolical methods of ICE are entirely consistent over time. Starting in 2017, ICE took thousands of children from their parents, some of whom remain separated and may take years to be reunited, others who will never be returned to their families.[4, 5] Meanwhile, ICE guards have been accused of systematically sexually assaulting women in custody prior to deporting them.[6]

The current outrage over forced sterilization in Irwin County Detention Center similarly reflects a festering pattern of medical negligence and abuse in a system that is motivated by profit over people.[7, 8] We should be exquisitely attentive to America’s lengthy history of removing reproductive rights without consent as a means of oppression of those living with mental or physical disabilities, on the basis of race, and of individuals incarcerated in American prisons. At highest risk are Black immigrant women, whose demands for appropriate medical care alongside those engaging in hunger strikes and other means to preserve their safety while incarcerated by ICE are functionally erased.[9]

Genocide is a term to be used with great respect for the magnitude of the criminality that it holds.

Forced sterilization, child separation and death deportation, intentional medical neglect and mismanagement leading to illness and death is genocide. [10]

As medical professionals, we cannot sit silently while thousands of human beings are traumatized, assaulted, and killed. Current U.S. immigration policy is immoral. History has proven that immigration detention itself is far too great a threat to humanity to ignore.

The physician, and the medical community providing complicity, responsible for unauthorized hysterectomies must be held accountable. But that is not enough.

Irwin County Detention Center must be shut down. But that is not enough. 

This is about American immigration policy, ICE, and the prison and immigration detention industrial complex. 

The U.S. government must act immediately to stop ICE from continuing to place individuals, families, communities and indeed the world at risk. We must dismantle this system of violence and harm. Free them all.


We, the undersigned medical doctors, health professionals, and health professions students, call on Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to put an immediate end to all forced sterilizations at immigration detention centers, to close Irwin Detention Center and hold accountable all those complicit in these abuses, and to release all individuals detained therein before additional women are victimized by such facilities.



Who's signing

George Feldman
Margaret Halloran
A.B. Wilkinson
marilee dea
Bronwyn Baz, MD
Cindy Quale
Anvesh Macherla
marianne mauldin
Gautam Ramesh
Jessica Muñoz
Fawn Douglas
Setareh Shekarchi
Margaret Pixley
Oriana LaForte
Geneva Peter
Rosemary Agwuncha
Tammi Tiger
Whitney McCann
Jennifer Kosek
Jane Kwon
Sarah Hemphill
Hannah McCarthy
Sarah Carpenter
Kiley Rucker
Emily Mozdzer
Lindsay Clark
Carol Gergis
Sheela Maru
Roshni Kakaiya
Marina Masciale
3,000 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 2860 reactions

  • George Feldman
    signed 2020-09-26 19:34:45 -0400
    This is torture and truly a re-enactment of the horrors inflicted by Josef Mengele as the Nazis ravaged Europe.
  • Margaret Halloran
    signed 2020-09-26 18:48:34 -0400
  • A.B. Wilkinson
    signed 2020-09-26 18:40:17 -0400
  • marilee dea
    signed 2020-09-26 18:37:11 -0400
    Close Irwin ICE detention Center, stop forced sterilizations
  • Bronwyn Baz, MD
    signed 2020-09-26 17:42:33 -0400
  • Cindy Quale
    signed 2020-09-26 17:37:28 -0400
    The US has a horrible history of forced sterilization against vulnerable people. 10,000 people were forcibly sterilized up until 1960 mostly on the judgement of powerful and arrogant white men. Why are we going backwards? This is a crime against humanity. Shame on you!
  • Anvesh Macherla
    signed 2020-09-26 17:33:46 -0400
  • marianne mauldin
    signed 2020-09-26 17:20:04 -0400
  • Gautam Ramesh
    signed 2020-09-26 16:51:37 -0400
  • Jessica Muñoz
    signed 2020-09-26 16:43:00 -0400
  • Fawn Douglas
    signed 2020-09-26 12:40:36 -0400
    I am inspired by the actions made by the Black Youth Project 100 in August of 2017 to have the statue of James Marion Sims removed from Central Park, New York. Sim’s was a torturer of enslaved African women. He experimented on them and was given the name, “Godfather of Gynecology”. The young black women peacefully protested standing in front of the statue in hospital gowns drenched in a gesture of blood in the lower abdomen area.

    Currently, witnesses have come forward to say that the Indigenous women being held at ICE at the border are being given hysterectomies without their knowing or consent. This is GENOCIDE! This is sterilization of a culture of women. We say NO!

    Stand with us as our Indigenous sisters stand up to the forced sterilizations at the border.

    GENOCIDE, a performance art action will take place at:

    5:00-5:30 pm

    Saturday Sept. 26, 2020

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    501 Las Vegas Boulevard (corner of Clark)

    There will be a protest/ march from 6:00- 8:00 pm

    We are gathering slightly before to not interrupt the actions being made, please view Las Vegas Liberation for full details.

    Social distance is a must

    Masks must be worn

    No weapons


    - Come to photograph, share, raise awareness!

    - sign the petition!


    Questions? Direct message Fawn Douglas.

    [email protected]

    We have room for 3 more Indigenous sisters to stand in solidarity for this arts action.
  • Setareh Shekarchi
    signed 2020-09-26 11:03:13 -0400
  • Margaret Pixley
    signed 2020-09-26 09:30:04 -0400
  • Oriana LaForte
    signed 2020-09-26 09:12:31 -0400
  • Geneva Peter
    signed 2020-09-26 08:39:07 -0400
  • Rosemary Agwuncha
    signed 2020-09-26 02:40:59 -0400
  • Tammi Tiger
    signed 2020-09-26 01:23:02 -0400
  • Whitney McCann
    signed 2020-09-25 22:26:46 -0400
  • Jennifer Kosek
    signed 2020-09-25 22:06:55 -0400
  • Jane Kwon
    signed 2020-09-25 20:52:36 -0400
  • Sarah Hemphill
    signed 2020-09-25 19:03:36 -0400
  • Hannah McCarthy
    signed 2020-09-25 17:43:09 -0400
  • Sarah Carpenter
    signed 2020-09-25 17:42:47 -0400
  • Kiley Rucker
    signed 2020-09-25 17:07:38 -0400
  • Emily Mozdzer
    signed 2020-09-25 14:33:41 -0400
  • Lindsay Clark
    signed 2020-09-25 14:30:47 -0400
  • Carol Gergis
    signed via 2020-09-25 14:08:04 -0400
  • Sheela Maru
    signed 2020-09-25 13:50:56 -0400
  • Roshni Kakaiya
    signed 2020-09-25 13:44:50 -0400
  • Marina Masciale
    signed 2020-09-25 13:22:51 -0400