- In September, a gynecologist in Georgia was accused of performing unnecessary and unethical medical procedures on several detainees at an immigration detention facility without their informed consent.
- Oftentimes, he allegedly endangered or completely eliminated their ability to have children.
- Now, six of the women who made allegations have been deported and seven others could soon face the same fate, which means some could end up in unstable countries or situations where it becomes hard to maintain contact with them as investigations continue.
- Two women reportedly faced deportation orders after speaking with or asking to speak with investigators, prompting fears among victims that speaking out will impact their immigration cases.
- ICE has denied accusations that it is attempting to impede the investigation by carrying out deportations once an individual has exhausted all appeal options.
Accusations Against Dr. Amin
The U.S. is deporting several women who claimed they were subjected to inhumane and unethical medical practices at an immigrant detention center in Georgia, according to the Associated Press.
The facility in question is the Irwin County Detention Center, which made national headlines in September after a whistleblower nurse came forwards with a federal complaint.
One doctor there, Dr. Mahendra Amin, was specifically accused of performing medically unnecessary procedures on several migrant women without their consent or true understanding. Oftentimes those procedures allegedly endangered or completely eliminated a patient’s ability to have children.
The doctor has denied any wrongdoing, but the Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into the claims. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general is also investigating.
Still, immigrant advocates have urged federal officials to not just look into the doctor, but also the detention center and any role ICE had in sending patients to him.
As of Tuesday, ICE has already deported six former patients who had complained about the doctor, the AP reports. At least seven others who made allegations have received word that they could soon be deported as well.
These deportations are reportedly occurring in the last weeks of President Donald Trump’s administration.
This news is quite important because while people who have been deported might still be able to serve as witnesses in a criminal or civil case, they could end up in unstable countries or situations where it becomes hard to maintain contact with them.
“ICE is destroying the evidence needed for this investigation,” Elora Mukherjee, a Columbia University law professor who is working with several of the women said of the news.
ICE, however, responded to those types of allegations, saying that it had notified the Homeland Security inspector general “about any planned transfers or removals of Irwin detainees who were former patients of Dr. Amin.”
“Any implication that ICE is attempting to impede the investigation by conducting removals of those being interviewed is completely false, ” it added.
The agency also said this week that it would accommodate interviews but detained migrants “remain subject to final order of removal” once all appeals have been exhausted.
Still, many are worried about how this case is being investigated. One woman who filed a complaint told the AP that she had spoken to government officials twice, most recently on Tuesday.
“I told them that I was abused, tortured, dehumanized,” she said.
Within hours of her first interview last week, that woman and her lawyers were told ICE had lifted a hold on her deportation and she could be sent to Kenya at any time.
Another woman reportedly notified the government Thursday that she wanted to talk to investigators about the doctors. Then by early Monday, she was driven to an airport to board a deportation flight. Her deportation was only stopped after her lawyers intervened.
Situations like this make the alleged victims fearful that answering questions from investigators might hurt their immigration cases, and many advocates worry that the government is not taking the right steps to ensure that a fair and thorough investigation is being carried out.
See what others are saying: (Associated Press) (NBC News) (Forbes)
Kathy Griffin, Ethan Klein, More Suspended From Twitter Over Elon Musk Impersonations
Many have pretended to be Musk in an attempt to highlight the potential issues paid-for verifications could cause on the platform.
Musk Takes on Impersonations
Comedian Kathy Griffin and internet personality Ethan Klein are among the many Twitter users that have been permanently suspended for impersonating the platform’s new CEO, Elon Musk.
Impersonation has long been against Twitter’s rules, but on Sunday, the billionaire took the policy a step further by announcing that “any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.”
“Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning,” Musk explained. “This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue.”
Musk also said that any user who changes their name will temporarily lose their verification check mark.
The announcement came as many verified users began mocking Musk by changing their name and photo to match his, then tweeting jokes that were either absurd or out of character for the business mogul. Many did this to protest Musk’s plan to charge an $8 monthly subscription fee that would allow any Twitter user to become verified.
Klein was one of many who changed his name to “Elon Musk” and made a photo of the CEO his profile image. The podcast host sent out several jokes, including one referencing the increased use of the N-word on the platform since Musk’s takeover, and another referencing Jeffrey Epstein.
“Even though Jeffrey Epstein committed horrible crimes, I do still miss him on nights like this for his warmth and camaraderie. Rest In Peace old Friend,” he wrote.
His account was quickly banned, but Klein defended himself on TikTok, arguing that both his cover photo and bio labeled his account as “parody” and therefore should be acceptable under Musk’s guidelines.
“What more do you want from me?” he asked. “Comedy is dead. And Elon Musk dug the grave.”
Protests of Musk’s Twitter Control
For her part, Griffin likewise tweeted while masquerading as Musk, writing that after “spirited discussion with the females in my life, I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right.”
Musk joked that she was actually “suspended for impersonating a comedian” and added that she can have her account back if she pays for the $8 subscription. Griffin, however, found another way around the ban.
The comedian logged into her late mother’s Twitter account and began using the hashtag #FreeKathy while calling out Musk.
“Mad Men” actor Rich Sommer and podcaster Griffin Newman have also had their accounts suspended for tweeting as Musk. Other celebrities, including TV producer Shonda Rhimes, musician Sara Bareilles, and model Gigi Hadid have protested Musk’s Twitter reign by leaving the platform altogether.
“For a long time, but especially with its new leadership, it’s becoming more and more of a cesspool of hate & bigotry, and it’s not a place I want to be a part of,” Hadid wrote on Instagram over the weekend.
AOC Says Twitter Notifications “Conveniently” Disabled After Criticizing Musk
“What’s good? Doesn’t seem very free speechy to me,” she tweeted at the new CEO.
AOC Vs. Elon Musk
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said several of her Twitter features are “conveniently not working” after feuding with the platform’s new owner, billionaire Elon Musk.
Ocasio-Cortez has never been shy about her views on Musk. After he officially took charge of Twitter last week, the congresswoman began criticizing his new proposals for the social networking site, specifically his plan to charge an $8 subscription fee for verification.
“Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that ‘free speech’ is actually a $8/mo subscription plan,” she wrote on Tuesday.
“Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8,” Musk replied the following day.
Around an hour later, the business mogul sent another tweet appearing to call Ocasio-Cortez out for selling $58 sweatshirts.
“Proud of this and always will be,” she shot back. “My workers are union, make a living wage, have full healthcare, and aren’t subject to racist treatment in their workplaces. Items are made in USA. Team AOC honors and respects working people. You should try it sometime instead of union-busting.”
In a follow-up tweet, she noted that proceeds go to community organizing programs, including one that tutors students who are falling behind because of COVID-19.
AOC’s Mentions Not Working
On Wednesday evening, just hours after her back-and-forth with Musk, Ocasio-Cortez told her followers that her “Twitter mentions/notifications conveniently aren’t working tonight.”
“I was informed via text that I seem to have gotten under a certain billionaire’s skin,” she added. “Just a reminder that money will never [buy] your way out of insecurity, folks.”
The issue seemingly continued into Thursday morning when the Democrat tweeted a screenshot of her notifications page, which loaded no results.
“Why should people pay $8 just for their app to get bricked when they say something you don’t like?” she tweeted at Musk. “This is what my app has looked like ever since my tweet upset you yesterday. What’s good? Doesn’t seem very free speechy to me.”
Musk has repeatedly claimed that one of his primary motives to buy Twitter was to protect free speech. Once taking the reigns as CEO, though, he did say he would start a content moderation council and make decisions jointly with them.
South Carolina County Votes Against Moving LGBTQ+ Friendly Books Away from Children’s Section
Efforts to limit LGBTQ+ content in libraries first began over the summer.
Attempts to Restrict LGBTQ+ Displays
The county council in Greenville County, South Carolina this week voted against discussing a resolution that would move all books “promoting sexuality” to the adult section.
This resolution is the culmination of months of turmoil in Greenville County. In June, libraries in the county removed Pride displays at the direction of library officials. Then in September, the county’s Republican Party executive board passed a resolution to call on the County Council to restrict access to books with LGBTQ+ themes and characters.
The resolution was proposed by Joe Dill, an outgoing council member, as well as a member of the county’s Republican Party executive board. It proposed the council “officially order that no books or content, including digital copies or online accessible materials, promoting sexuality be allowed in the Children’s Sections of our public libraries.”
However, the resolution required the council to suspend its regular rules in order to discuss it as it was not submitted to the council via committee. The final vote was 9 to 3 against the suspension of the rules and effectively killed the resolution.
Those that voted against it viewed the resolution as an overreach.
“We just do not believe that’s our job to get involved in the library’s business,” Council member Ennis Fett said to a local news outlet. “We appoint a board. We can not set a precedent of micromanaging the library board, because if we do that, then, we will be micromanaging all boards and commissions that we appoint.”
Although the council decided not to get involved, the library still has the final decision to make regarding these books. Their meeting to discuss the matter is scheduled for December 5.