Acting ICE Director: Anyone Responsible For Alleged Forced Hysterectomies ‘Should Be Held Accountable’

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement will cooperate with investigations into claims that detainees were given hysterectomies without consenting to the operation at a private detention center in Georgia, the acting director told the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday.

Acting ICE Director Tony Pham addressed the whistleblower allegations claiming that Dr. Mahendra Amin, an independently-contracted physician, had performed hysterectomies on detainees without their consent in an interview with the DCNF.

“The recent allegations by the independent contracted employee raise some very serious concerns that deserve to be investigated quickly and thoroughly,” Pham said in a statement ICE released Friday.

“ICE welcomes the efforts of both the Office of Inspector General as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s parallel review,” Pham said in the statement.

Pham told the DCNF that he would make any necessary changes after the investigation is complete, adding that the allegations must be confirmed.

“Those findings would come to me and I expect my team to implement the changes that are necessary, but I also want to say that this juncture, that these are allegations, those allegations nonetheless need to be fully vetted,” Pham told the DCNF.

“As a former prosecutor myself, I’m very mindful that these are allegations and that they’re serious and that if they are founded through the process of being independently investigated, then my expectations are that the individual doctor and anyone else that were complicit with this would be held strictly accountable,” Pham said.

On Monday, the human rights advocacy group Project South filed a complaint on behalf of five women who allegedly received hysterectomies without giving their consent while they were detained at the ICE Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. (RELATED: ICE Detention Facility In Georgia Allegedly Gave High Number Of Hysterectomies To Detainees)

Amin was not hired by ICE, but was contracted by the private detention center, Pham told the DCNF, adding that thinks some people “are automatically tagging that this community physician is an employee of ICE, and he’s not.”

“He is an individual in the community that has partnered with the facility to receive referrals,” Pham said.

Amin settled a federal lawsuit in 2015 which claimed that he performed medically unnecessary procedures as part of an alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme, the DCNF reported Thursday.

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