Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

A participant holding a sign at the entrance of the Manhattan Bridge facing the rush hour traffic in July 2020. Members of the activist group Rise and Resist gathered at the plaza by the Manhattan side entrance to the Manhattan Bridge during rush hour holding signs and banners protesting the incarceration of immigrants by CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). (Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

'This Fight Is Not Over': Activists Help ICE Detainee Avoid Deportation Following Alleged Sterilization Procedure at Georgia Facility

Pauline Binam, a Cameroonian who has lived in the U.S. since the age of two, was detained at an ICE facility where her fallopian tubes were removed, allegedly without her consent.

Lisa Newcomb

Immigrant rights advocates Wednesday praised efforts that helped a woman detained in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility temporarily avoid deportation, potentially paving the way for her to corroborate evidence that she and other women at an ICE detention center received unwarranted procedures including hysterectomies while in custody, and allowing her to continue her legal fight against deportation.

"We just got Pauline off the plane," Mijente, a Latinx advocacy group tweeted Wednesday afternoon, referring to a commercial flight Pauline Binam had been on, presumably to be deported.

Binam, who is Black, is originally from Cameroon and has lived in the United States since she was two years old. According to reporting from Democracy Now!, she has been detained at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia for three years. Last fall, according to a document shared by Mijente, Binam went to a gynecologist at the facility for a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure, often used to remove tissue from a woman's uterus, but ended up having a salpingectomy, a procedure that removes one or both fallopian tubes, without her consent.

"With partners at Cameroon American Council, the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and Mijente [and Rev.] Leeann Culbreath we are happy to report Victory!," R. Andrew Free, an immigration and civil rights attorney tweeted. "ICE took Pauline off a commercial flight this morning. Thank you to all who took action. This fight is not over."

Celebrations are temporary, however, as disturbing details continue to emerge following the Monday release of a whistleblower complaint that alleged "jarring medical neglect" relating to Covid-19 safety protocols and procedures as well as a high number of hysterectomies performed on women detained at the facility. Congressional lawmakers called for an investigation into the matter late Tuesday. 

In related news, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune reported Monday that ICE had deported a detainee who was "a crucial witness in an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment at an El Paso immigrant detention center." The 35-year-old woman was detained in the Texas facility, and alleged a "pattern and practice" of abuse there including sexual assault, and that some assaults happened in surveillance camera blind spots.

"The short history of DHS has been filled with violence, fear-stoking, and a lack of oversight. Dismantle it," the ACLU tweeted Wednesday, renewing its call to break up the Department of Homeland Security, of which ICE is a part.

Amnesty International joined the ACLU in demanding action.

"Unfortunately, the United States has a history of forced sterilization, including of Indigenous women, Black women and other women of color, incarcerated women, and intersex people," the group said in a statement Wednesday. "In addition to a violation of a person's rights to health and safety and sexual and reproductive rights, forced sterilization can constitute a crime against humanity under international law. No one should be sterilized without their full consent, and people should be not be detained for seeking asylum."

"As a first step, Congress and the DHS must both urgently investigate these allegations," Amnesty added. "These horrifying allegations demonstrate that the abusive practice of immigration detention in the United States cannot be continued. We renew our call to the administration to free people in immigration detention."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·

'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·

The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·

'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·

Progressives Vow to 'Push Very Hard' to Keep Agenda From Being Gutted Beyond Recognition

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said House Democrats "are fighting to tackle the climate crisis, expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing, and guarantee family leave in America."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo