The whistle-blower reports about mass hysterectomies from a Georgia immigration detention camp under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) appear to be the latest heinous example of Gestapo tactics employed by the Trump administration.
There is a long, dark, ugly history during and long before this administration, in the name of the pseudoscience of eugenics, of the forced sterilization of some 70,000 Americans—mostly poor women of color—during the first seven decades of the 20th century. Sterilization abuses were reported as recently as a few years ago when women experienced forced tubal ligations in California prisons.
Certainly, other nations have also engaged in similar horrific practices up to the present day such as current abuses of the Uighurs by the Chinese government, which has a long history of abusing women’s rights and human rights. We must denounce these abuses wherever they occur, while we make sure this never happens again in the United States.
If these latest ICE reports are accurate—and we have no reason to believe otherwise—Population Connection and Population Connection Action Fund condemn these crimes against women on the part of the Trump administration. There needs to be a day of reckoning with jail time for anyone found guilty—up to and including the highest offices in the land.
The silence from many of the loudest voices in the so-called “pro-life” community is deafening, but predictable. They’ve long abandoned any pretense of being anything other than foot soldiers for white supremacy. They’ve stood by as children were ripped from their parents and held in cages. They’ve cheered as families were brutalized and torn apart.
Since we can’t expect the administration to act to hold ICE accountable for these grotesque violations of human rights, we need Congress to act. The rot here starts at the top, and that’s where the accountability must start.
The next administration and the next Congress must thoroughly reconstitute our national homeland security structure as established in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. ICE needs to be replaced with a new agency that reflects our highest values—one that treats everyone with dignity and respect and ensures that those seeking refuge, asylum, or a new home have their cases fairly and fully adjudicated.
We must be better than this.