Trump’s made it easy to buy re­port of forced op­er­a­tions

Albuquerque Journal - - OPINION - Email msanchez­col­, Twit­ter @ msanchez­col­umn. © 2020, Mary Sanchez. MARY SANCHEZ Colum­nist

The macabre story of the doc­tor dubbed by im­mi­grants as “uterus col­lec­tor” swirled through Latino so­cial me­dia cir­cles. It ig­nited Demo­cratic con­dem­na­tion of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion and sent a chill down the spine of all who heard it. If any­one in GOP cir­cles finds those facts alarm­ing, they might want to re­visit the last four years.

Note es­pe­cially just about ev­ery­thing ... out of the mouth of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in re­gard to im­mi­grants. Don’t cry now if peo­ple are will­ing to be­lieve the out­landish ver­sions of this story, some of which align with or­gan har­vest­ing and eu­gen­ics-driven calls for forced ster­il­iza­tions.

A whistle­blower’s al­le­ga­tion of abuses at Ir­win County De­ten­tion Cen­ter in Ge­or­gia started it all. A nurse there al­leges a gy­ne­col­o­gist per­forms un­nec­es­sary hys­terec­tomies, has re­moved the wrong ovary when per­form­ing a pro­ce­dure to elim­i­nate a cyst and has a high rate of Fal­lop­ian tube removal; and all of this is done with­out the proper con­sent of the im­mi­grant women un­der his care. Dawn Wooten made the charges in a com­plaint filed with the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity and sup­ported by state­ments from the hu­man rights group Project South. Other im­mi­grant de­tainees de­tailed their own sto­ries that seemed to cor­rob­o­rate Wooten’s al­le­ga­tions.

In sub­se­quent days, other at­tor­neys for im­mi­grants there have re­ported their clients feared med­i­cal care, which they found rough and ques­tion­able in ne­ces­sity. “These im­mi­grant women, I don’t think they re­ally, to­tally, all the way un­der­stand this is what’s go­ing to hap­pen de­pend­ing on who ex­plains it to them,” Wooten says in the com­plaint. If true, that’s a mock­ery of in­formed con­sent and a huge vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights.

The 27-page com­plaint deals pre­dom­i­nantly with charges about med­i­cal care that wasn’t given, mostly pro­tec­tions around COVID-19. De­ten­tion cen­ters are vir­tual in­cu­ba­tors for COVID-19, not un­like pris­ons and jails . ...

Time will re­veal much more. The Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity’s in­spec­tor gen­eral is tasked with fer­ret­ing out the truth.

Democrats seized on it im­me­di­ately ... easy fod­der for boost­ing the pres­i­den­tial can­di­dacy of Joe Bi­den, who while not al­ways the most elo­quent speaker, doesn’t ut­ter the hate­ful anti-im­mi­grant screeds of Trump. The big­gest prob­lem for Trump is so many, so quickly, even sans solid ev­i­dence, are ready to be­lieve the worst. He earned it.

Trump has gloated about putting mi­grant chil­dren in cages like an­i­mals. He’s called their par­ents rapists, thieves and mur­der­ers and tried to dec­i­mate the net­work sup­port­ing the le­gal re­set­tle­ment of refugees . ...

Trump sees them as tools to set his most vul­ture-like and un­in­formed fans to wail­ing about in­va­sions from the Mex­ico-U.S. bor­der. Wooten’s al­le­ga­tion lands on that bedrock of ha­tred.

U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment has pushed back, stat­ing that two women at Ir­win have been “re­ferred” for hys­terec­tomies since 2018. What that means and if more pro­ce­dures some­how could be per­formed out­side of that sys­tem, re­mains unan­swered.

The much ma­ligned “main­stream me­dia” are be­ing care­ful. The Wash­ing­ton Post used the word­ing “lightly sub­stan­ti­ated claims,” and oth­ers noted that some of the ac­counts are sec­ond­hand, as should be ex­pected when deal­ing with peo­ple in cus­tody speak­ing about the ex­pe­ri­ences of oth­ers also be­ing held.

Wooten, like many whistle­blow­ers, has an ax to grind. A li­censed prac­ti­cal nurse, she worked full time at Ir­win be­fore hav­ing her hours de­creased this sum­mer. She says, be­cause she was stir­ring up this trou­ble, ques­tion­ing med­i­cal prac­tices.

Whistle­blow­ers are valu­able and of­ten noble. Gen­er­ally, they give not a per­fect path to truth, but quite of­ten a thread to pull, a di­rec­tion to be­gin search­ing.

The ac­cused doc­tor wasn’t named in the orig­i­nal com­plaint. But fur­ther re­port­ing by Prism Re­ports and the Atlanta Jour­nal Con­sti­tu­tion ver­i­fied that Dr. Ma­hen­dra Amin is the per­son in ques­tion. And that he paid part of a $520,000 set­tle­ment in 2015 af­ter state and fed­eral of­fi­cials charged his in­volve­ment with a scheme to bilk Med­i­caid and Medi­care. De­ten­tion cen­ters are fer­tile ter­ri­tory for swindlers. Like the Ir­win fa­cil­ity, most are in ru­ral ar­eas, fur­ther iso­lat­ing the mi­grants. Lan­guage bar­ri­ers, let alone cul­tural ones, ex­ac­er­bate com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Stir in the profit mo­tive and pat­terns emerge. Ir­win is pri­vately run by LaSalle Correction­s, which earns more the higher the head­count and the num­ber of ser­vices ren­dered. Tax­pay­ers foot the bill.

This is an ad­min­is­tra­tion that views im­mi­grants as political pawns and worse, as less than hu­man. As the Novem­ber elec­tion draws near, peo­ple are judg­ing Trump’s pitch for an­other four years by how he has be­haved dur­ing the last four. And how quickly many ac­cepted these atroc­i­ties, with only this com­plaint filed, may tell you all you need to know about what Amer­ica has come to be­lieve about Don­ald Trump . ... A rep­u­ta­tion truly earned by the very real atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by this ad­min­is­tra­tion re­gard­less of what comes of this com­plaint.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.