WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United States House of Representatives passed HR1153, condemning the unwanted, unnecessary medical procedures performed on women without their full and informed consent at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. HR1153 was championed by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and co-sponsored by an additional 225 lawmakers. FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement:
“We applaud Congresswoman Jayapal and 225 other lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives who took decisive action today to condemn the horrifying reports of medical neglect at Irwin County Detention Center. The dehumanization inflicted on immigrant women at the hands of our government is an atrocious violation of the safety of vulnerable people who come to our shores seeking refuge.
“Immediate investigations to uncover the truth are a moral emergency. We urge all public officials with investigative powers to use them immediately as well.
“Importantly, these reports are a tragic reminder of the inherent dangerousness of incarceration, and the violence within these systems. People who come to the United States legally seeking asylum should be able to be with their families – and not in jail – as they wait for their day in court. Denying their freedom by incarcerating them adds layers of trauma and lethal risk during a deadly pandemic that has already taken the lives of more than 200,000 people in the United States.
“This moment of reckoning is an urgent call for our country to recalibrate our moral compass and end the cruelty of detention. We will continue to demand accountability from elected officials for the humane treatment of people seeking asylum, and will reject the premise that combatting this virus requires jailing women and children, and eliminating due process for those seeking asylum. Turning a blind eye to the human consequences of jailing vulnerable men, women, and children puts all of us at risk.”