On Sept. 18, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton issued a statement in response to “the very disturbing account of human rights violations against immigrant women in custody in the privately run Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga.,” she said.
The center is run by LaSalle Corrections under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A whistleblower complaint filed Sept. 14 by by a licensed nurse practitioner revealed a pattern of medically unnecessary hysterectomies and medical neglect that violated women.
“The ELCA acknowledges that ‘migrants, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers often suffer more when they are women, girls, or gender non-conforming people’ (ELCA social statement Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action),” the statement read, in part. “Further, the ELCA urges support for legal reforms, humane policies, and adequate services for migrants, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, especially those who experience intersecting forms of oppression.”
“As the ELCA we strongly condemn gender-based violence and violations of human rights wherever they occur. We pray especially for the courageous women who have come forward. We look ahead to the expeditious investigation of these reports by the Department of Homeland Security as urged by members of Congress, to be completed by Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.”