Medical Neglect, Mistreatment of Detainees in U.S. Immigration Detention ‘Not New, Not Aberrations’

Please see below statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate Yael Schacher: 

“The medical neglect, discrimination, and violations of the reproductive rights of detainees at the Irwin immigrant detention center as described by Nurse Wooten are unfortunately not new and are not aberrations. The Department of Homeland Security and their private contractors have violated the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers in prisons for far too long. Indeed, these are places where women detainees have been subject to mistreatment in many forms.

The COVID-19 crisis has made clear the urgent need for oversight of the conditions of detention. But it has also made clear a fundamental truth: asylum seekers and most migrants should not be detained in the first place. We need to use alternatives to detention, which Refugees International, numerous NGOs, and the United Nations have been advocating for years. It is long past time for the United States to treat immigrants and asylum seekers with dignity and humanity.”

For press inquiries or to arrange an interview with Yael, please contact Sarah Sheffer at or +1 202 540 7029.