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U.S. Deports Migrant Women Who Alleged Abuse by Georgia Doctor

The Associated Press reports that the Trump administration is trying to deport several women who allege they were mistreated by a gynecologist while in ICE custody at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia. ICE has already deported six former patients who complained about the doctor, who has been accused of operating on migrant women without their consent or performing medically unnecessary procedures.

Trans Women in ICE Custody Already Suffered Sexual Harassment and Abuse. Then Came COVID-19

Members of the LGBTQ+ community, and particularly trans individuals, in ICE detention have long complained of persistent sexual harassment, with reports showing that LGBTQ+ people are 97 times more likely to be victimized within detention than other detainees. Now, the pandemic has magnified those vulnerabilities, with experts and advocates warning that the lockdown of facilities is making it harder for victims to escape abuse since they are often locked up with their aggressors. 

ICE moves to quickly deport more immigrants without court hearings.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration said it is making more undocumented immigrants eligible to be quickly deported without a court hearing. In July 2019, ICE announced new rules which are now being implemented that greatly expand their used of “expediated removal.” The Trump administration claims the new expedited removal rules will allow ICE to save resources typically used for long-term detention and help the immigration court system reduce its massive case backlog.

Los Angeles Times: 19 Women Allege Medical Abuse in Georgia Immigration Detention

The Los Angeles Times discusses a new report, written by a team of nine board-certified OB-GYNs and two nursing experts, that claims that at least 19 women at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia were pressured to undergo “overly aggressive” or “medically unnecessary” surgery without their consent, including procedures that affect their ability to have children

CE plans to fast-track deportations across the country

Tony Pham, acting head of ICE, said that ICE agents have until October 16 to finish training on a new policy that allows officers to arrest and rapidly deport undocumented immigrants who have been in the US for less than two years. A federal judge blocked this policy in 2019, but in June the D.C. Circuit lifted the preliminary injunction. Under the new policy, ICE officers may use expedited removal across the country to deport undocumented immigrants without a hearing before an immigration judge.

ICE Almost Deported Immigrant Woman Who Says She Got Unwanted Surgery While Detained

NPR reports that, as explosive allegations were coming to light about immigrant women who say they’ve been subjected to unwanted hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures while in ICE custody, one of those detainees was put on a plane back to her home country.

Judge Orders COVID-19 Tests at California Detention Center

The Associated Press reports that a federal judge, on Thursday, ordered ICE to test everyone held at a California immigration detention center for the coronavirus. Noting that the authorities had shown “deliberate indifference to the risk of an outbreak,” the judge said that ICE had “lost the right to be trusted” on its willingness to take safety measures at the Mesa Verde Detention Center in Bakersfield. In emails to the contractor, GEO Group, ICE officials noted that the agency wanted to avoid universal testing because it did not have room to quarantine all those who might test positive.

A Canadian immigrant died of COVID-19 in ICE custody this week.

On Wednesday, a 72-year-old Canadian immigrant held in a privately run detention center passed away from COVID-19 complications. James Hill, a doctor, was being deported after serving a 12-year sentence for writing opioid prescriptions without seeing patients. After being held in detention for three months, his flight to Canada was scheduled, but he was hospitalized for COVID-19 before he could make the flight. He was hospitalized for nearly a month before he passed away this Wednesday, August 5. Mr. Hill had told his family that while in ICE detention he was forced to sleep in a crowded dorm with 80 men. This follows from other complaints that both publicly and privately-run ICE detention centers have not followed CDC recommendations on how to handle COVID-19. Hill’s family said that he had served his sentence and did not deserve to die due to ICE’s “negligence.” The Farmville center currently has 290 confirmed COVID-19 cases

Despite the new rule being rescinded, international students are still being denied visas.

On July 14, ICE agreed to rescind the rule requiring students to take in-person classes this fall or else leave the country. However, a group of state attorneys told a judge on Tuesday that ICE has not yet followed through on completely ending the policy. Even after July 14, international students have been told by consulates that they need proof that their studies will not be entirely online this fall. Visa applications have both been denied and put on administrative hold as recently as July 21. In court, the attorneys were asking for “guidance” to ensure that the agreement to rescind the policy stays in place. 

A federal judge has delayed the deadline for ICE to release detained children.

On July 16, a federal judge extended the deadline for ICE to comply with an order to release detained children. District Judge Gee extended the deadline by 10 days after government lawyers said they needed “more time” and that both sides were engaged in “discussions.” Many advocates are concerned that ICE’s interpretation of the order will lead to more family separations, since ICE’s position is that it does not need to release parents with their children. Before the deadline was extended, ICE was requiring parents in detention to choose between keeping their children in detention with them or releasing them to outside guardians. The order applies to the three detention centers in the U.S. which house detained families, which are located in Texas and Pennsylvania.

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