By Chris Fry
From the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:
Article 6 Genocide
For the purpose of this Statute, “genocide” means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
In mid-September, the Guardian newspaper published an article that stated:
An ICE detention center in Georgia is reportedly the site of a mass involuntary sterilization project. A whistleblower report published by the non-profit Project South alleges that large numbers of migrant women held at the Irwin county detention center, a privately run facility that imprisons undocumented immigrants, received hysterectomies that they did not want and which were not medically necessary…
[Congresswoman] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “It’s astounding that after a massive family separation operation, mass sexual assault of detainees, trapping immigrants in Covid-infected detention centers, and now reports of mass hysterectomies (which the US has done before), abolishing ICE is controversial. Where’s the line?”
After the story was published, congressional Democrats called for an investigation. But since then, the corporate media largely dropped the story.
That is, until October 19th, when a new report by the LA Times newspaper revealed that 19 migrant women came forward saying how they had been sterilized against their will. An Oct. 23 story in The Cut Magazine titled “19 Migrant Women Say They were Victims of ‘Uterus Collector’”, gives some of the details of that report:
The immigrants, most of whom are Black and Latina, allege that Dr. Mahendra Amin, the primary gynecologist at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia, coerced them into having “overly aggressive” or “medically unnecessary” surgeries — in most cases without their consent…
One woman, who the Times identified as Amanda, said she woke up from a surgery chained to a hospital bed. Amin had given her a dilation and curettage — a surgery to scrape tissue from her uterus — without her consent. Before she was sedated she says Amin had told her he was draining an ovarian cyst, and that if she refused care it would affect her access to future medical treatment…
The new report, which was written by nine OB/GYNs and two nursing experts, builds on a whistleblower complaint Project South released in September, in which a former ICDC nurse details the same pattern of medical abuse. Nurse Dawn Wooten called Amin a “uterus collector” because many women had told her about being forced into having their uteruses or Fallopian tubes removed without proper explanation. (In the complaint, one immigrant called the situation “an experimental concentration camp. It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies.”)
Many of the victims of these atrocities were then quickly deported so that they could not testify as to what happened to them.
Eugenics: White supremacy’s atrocity against oppressed women
Forced sterilizations have a long history in the U.S as the Daily Beast reports.:
America’s sterilization laws, accepted by the Supreme Court, variously targeted Black, Native, Latina, and Puerto Rican women for over a century as more than 60,000 people were forcibly sterilized under legislation originally and broadly dedicated to the eradication of “feeblemindedness,” but which ultimately served as a means to racial extermination.
The world’s first compulsory sterilization legislation, passed in 1907, was enacted in Indiana, followed in 1909 by the “Asexualization Act” in California. Those two laws heavily informed The Third Reich’s 1933 “Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases.” [The Nazis sterilized more than 400,000 people under this law – cf]
California would ultimately perform one-third of all U.S. mandatory sterilizations, more than any other state. Latina women, mostly those of Mexican descent, were sterilized at 59 percent higher rates than non-Latinas. Researchers Nicole L. Novak and Natalie Lira reviewed medical records that showed “doctors who performed sterilizations would label Latinas as “sex delinquents” whose “sterilizations were described as necessary to protect the state from increased crime, poverty and racial degeneracy.”
The program was officially terminated under the law in 1979, but unwanted sterilizations would continue to be performed in California, with an estimated 1,400 incarcerated women subjected to unwanted and illegal hysterectomies between 1997 and 2013 by “doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.” The eugenicist reasoning for these human rights violations remained the same as ever, based in social control and the “breeding out” of defective traits. Survivors of the program “maintain that prison medical staff coerced the women, targeting those deemed likely to return to prison in the future.”
The lost 545 children
An October 21 article in the Guardian newspaper, along with many other corporate media outlets, reported that federal court appointed lawyers from the ACLU, after months of intensive efforts, were still unable to find the parents of 545 children separated under Trump’s infamous “zero tolerance” policy. Executed by then Attorney General Jeff Sessions and white supremacist Trump advisor Stephen Miller, this policy aimed to deliberately tear children, even infants, from their parents:
Family separation was one of the most visceral results of the Trump administration’s ruthless assault on illegal border crossing. The goal of the zero-tolerance policy was to criminally prosecute every migrant who entered the US without authorization – irrespective of the consequences to their families including their children.
An October 6th article in the New York Times revealed that Trump and his henchmen let no sense of compassion stand in their way to cruelly separate families at the border:
But the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, made it clear what Mr. Trump wanted on a conference call later that afternoon, according to a two-year inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general into Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy.
“We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If [parents] care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”
This policy was only stopped when world-wide outrage spurred court rulings that put an end to it, as far as we know. But the parents of at least 545 children, who were deported without their children, have yet to be found. The failure of ICE and the Border Patrol to track the parents of these children, locked up in cages in corporate-run detention centers, has caused these kids to be placed in foster care. They face permanent separation from their families.
During the Trump regime, more than seven migrant children have died while in U.S. custody.
Trump and his gang must face justice
An October 28th article in the Guardian finds that Trump advisor Stephen Miller intends to “intensify” these racist anti-immigrant policies in Trump’s second term:
Jean Guerrero, author of the Miller biography Hatemonger, told the Guardian: “There’s a number of things they have been cautious about because of the legal and political risks in the first term and I think that in a second term you would see Stephen Miller get much freer rein when it comes to his wishlist of items.”
Those items are expected to include attempting to eliminate birthright citizenship, making the US citizenship test more difficult to pass, ending the program which protects people from deportation when there is a crisis in their country (Temporary Protected Status) and slashing refugee admissions even further, to zero…
Becky Monroe, director of the immigrant rights program at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said white supremacy and white nationalism are not new to the US but Miller’s staying power underlined how accepted it is in the Trump White House.
The post-World War 2 trials in the German city of Nuremburg of Nazi leaders established the principle that government officials are not shielded by their position or their nation’s laws from prosecution for committing “crimes against humanity”, including the crime of genocide.
Trump’s depraved attack on migrants constitute such a crime, committed not only by him, but all his henchmen who implemented these policies. No matter what the outcome of the election, the workers and oppressed of the world demand justice!