According to the Guardian whistleblower in Georgia is accusing a private company of gross human rights violations. The whistleblower has been identified as Dawn Wooten, a nurse. She accused the company of medical neglect and high numbers of medically unnecessary hysterectomies.
The detention facility, in Irwin County Georgia is run by multinational corporation, LaSalle Corrections Services. The corporation is based in Louisiana. The company has immigrant centers all over the US but most of them are Louisiana followed by Texas. They have one facility just barely on the Arizona side of the California/Arizona border to which illegal immigrants from the California side of the border are often transported according to records.
The Irwin County facility, located in Ocilla Georgia, holds 1,200 illegal immigrants in its custody and is described on the companies site as being a both a minimum and a maximum security facility.
One issue that crops up with privately owned prisons is that the owners tend to hold themselves as above and exempt from the law.
Wooten, through her legal representatives provided by the Government Accountability Project and Project South, accused the company of ignoring COVID 19 and not doing anything to protect inmates or employees from the SARS COV-2 virus. She further said that conditions in the facility were unsanitary with feces all over the walls and floors that was never cleaned up. Employees who complained were often suspended from work and immigrant detainees who complained or talked about it were locked up in solitary confinement.
Wooten said she was reprimanded and demoted for talking about it. Multiple current employees have verified the claims according to the Intercept.
Wooten's latest complaint is that Spanish speaking illegal immigrants are being made to undergo medically unnecessary operations to remove their uteruses so they can't have babies while on US soil. The issue of children being born to illegal immigrants has long been an important one because there is currently a dispute as to whether those kids get birth right citizenship even though the only reason they would have it is via fraud. Several court decisions have said that citizenship, including birthright citizenship, that is acquired via fraud can be negated and removed from such persons.
The facility uses an off site doctor that specializes in removing uteruses. Project South is accusing the company of violating an international law that is actually invalid on US soil.
An ICE spokesperson said that so far the allegations are unproven at this time.
According to the complaint there are high number of COVID 19 cases inside the facility. ICE did not address that issue. While no detainees have died of COVID 19, 3 White American employees have died from the virus.
Sources say the number of COVID 19 cases at the facility may be under reported because the facility has very limited access to COVID 19 test kits. When confronted about the matter, the company used HIPAA to justify its violation of the laws by saying that privacy rights supersede all other concerns and all other rights.
Wooten, a Black woman, also alleges racial disparity in pay, saying that White employees were given paid time off but that employees of color were required to take unpaid time off, for COVID testing. When she brought the issue up, her work hours and duties were reduced as a warning to other employees to keep their mouths shut, Wooten said.