Irwin County Detention Center Medical Abuse Allegations

Andrew Free filed this request with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States of America.
Due Nov. 16, 2020
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Andrew Free

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

On behalf of my pro bono clients -- several not-for profit organizations engaged in the dissemination of information, and individuals currently or previously imprisoned at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Georgia -- I write to request a narrow set of agency records, and to seek expedited processing of this request.

Please provide the following agency records:

(1) Any record evidencing the following information regarding medical treatment on and informed consent by civilly detained immigrants at ICDC for the time period beginning January 20, 2017, and continuing through the date of the agency's adequate search in response to this request:

1.a The total number of office visits (CPT 99203) to Dr. Mahendra Amin's office in Douglas, GA.
1.b The total number of detained immigrants who received a transvaginal ultrasound from Dr. Amin or at his office.
1.c The total number of informed consent forms, or their eClinicalWorks equivalents, in ICE's possession as of September 14, 2020, reflecting consent to a transvaginal ultrasound being granted
by a detained immigrant patient of Dr. Amin's.
1.d The total number of detained immigrants who received Depo Provera (J1050) injections from Dr. Amin or at his office.
1.e The total number of informed consent forms, or their eClinicalWorks equivalents, in ICE's possession as of September 14, 2020, reflecting consent to a Depo Provera injection being granted by
a detained immigrant patient of Dr. Amin's.
1.f The total number of dilation and curettage and hysteroscopy (D&C - CPT: 58558) procedures scheduled by Dr. Amin's office for detained immigrants.
1.g The total number of informed consent forms, or their eClinicalWorks equivalents, in ICE's possession as of September 14, 2020, reflecting consent to a D&C procedure being granted by a
detained immigrant patient of Dr. Amin's.
1.h The total number of the following procedures requested by Dr. Amin for approval to perform on detained immigrants at ICDC:
1.h.i cystectomies
1.h.ii hysterectomies
1.h.iii salpingectomies
1.h.iv laparoscopic ablations of endometriosis
1.h.v. oopherectomies
1.h.vi any other surgical or diagnostic procedure not listed in Items 1.h.i-v above.
1.i The total number of informed consent forms, or their eClinicalWorks equivalents, in ICE's possession as of September 14, 2020, reflecting informed consent to any of the procedures listed in
Items 1.h.i-vi above.
1.j The total number of treatments or procedures listed in Items 1.a, 1.b, 1.d, 1.f, and 1.h above that ICE paid Dr. Amin or any of his companies - Mahendra G. Amin, P.C. or MGA Healthcare
Management, Inc., to perform.
1.k The total amount of money Dr. Amin or his companies requested through MedPar for treatment provided to detained immigrants at ICDC.
1.l The total amount of money paid to Dr. Amin or his companies for treatment provided to detained immigrants at ICDC.

(2) The following agency records regarding outside medical referrals for detained immigrants at ICDC for the period beginning from January 20, 2017, and continuing through the date of the agency's adequate search in response to this request:
2.a The Average Daily Population
2.b The total number of beds occupied, broken down by gender.
2.c The total number of outside medical referrals.
2.d The medical specialty of the provider to whom the detained immigrant was referred.
2.e The total amount paid for outside medical referrals.
2.f The total number of outside provider referrals ICDC staff requested.
2.g The total number of outside provider referrals ICE approved.
2.h The total number of individuals brought to an emergency department. s

(3) The following agency records regarding medical grievances filed by detained immigrants at ICDC for the period beginning January 20, 2017, and continuing through the date of the agency's adequate search in response to this request:
3.a The total number of medical grievances filed by detained immigrants.
3.b The total number of medical grievances filed by detained immigrants that involved complaints relating to Dr. Amin, gynecological care or surgery.
3.c The total number of medical grievances filed by detained immigrants that were processed within 24 hours.
3.d The total number of medical grievances filed by detained immigrants using an electronic tablet.
3.e The total number of medical grievances filed by detained immigrants using a paper request.
3.f The total number of medical grievances filed by detained immigrants orally.

(4) All contract discrepancy reports involving ICDC for the period beginning January 20, 2017, and continuing through the date of the agency's adequate search in response to this request.

(5) All significant incident reports or significant event notifications involving ICDC for the period beginning January 20, 2017, and continuing through the date of the agency's adequate search in response to this request.

(6) All video from the ICDC facility from Sept. 14, 2020 through October 14, 2020.

(7) All records on which DHS officials relied in publicly identifying the number of hysterectomies Dr. Amin performed on detained immigrants at ICDC.

(8) Any record evidencing the total number of individuals held in medical isolation, administrative segregation, disciplinary segregation, or other restricted housing (including 23-hour lockdown inside a Dorm unit) between April 1, 2020 and the present.

(9) Any record evidencing communications between ICE and Dr. Mahendra Amin or his agents on or after September 14, 2020.

(10) Any record evidencing communications between ICE and the Irwin County Commission or its agents on or after September 14, 2020.

(11) Any record evidencing communications between ICE and the Irwin County Hospital or its agents on or after September 14, 2020.

(12) All communications between ICE and any Congressional Committee or Member of Congress on or after September 14, 2020.

(13) Any record of communication between ICE and LaSalle Warden David Paulk regarding complaints received by LaSalle Corrections regarding Dr. Amin on or after January 1, 2018.

(14) Any record reflecting any report by detained immigrants at ICDC of missing prescription painkillers or being given tylenol or other non-prescription medications instead.

(15) All communications between Chris Paulk or his agents and ICE between January 1, 2018 and the present.

Offices likely to possess responsive records include:
(1) Immigrant Health Services Corps
(2) Enforcement and Removal Operations HQ
(3) The Office of the Acting Director(HQ)
(4) Custody Management Division
(5) Office of Professional Responsibility
(6) Office of Public Affairs
(7) Office of Principal Legal Advisor
(8) Office of Acquisition Management
(9) Office of Detention Oversight
(10) External Review and Analysis Unit
(11) Office of Legislative Affairs.

Pursuant to 6 C.F.R. 5.5(e)(1)(iv), we request expedited processing of this request. The issue of medical abuse and neglect against women at ICDC has been the subject of widespread and exceptional media interest since September 14, 2020, and there are significant questions regarding ICE's oversight of people in its care at ICDC which affect public confidence.

A representative sampling of the media stories we rely upon for the proposition that these allegations have been the subject of widespread and exceptional media interest follows:
1. https://www.wabe.org/congressional-delegation-calls-for-irwin-facility-to-be-shut-down-after-hearing-women-in-ice-custody-describe-gynecological-procedures/
2. https://theintercept.com/2020/09/15/hysterectomies-ice-irwin-whistleblower/
3. https://www.ajc.com/news/at-ice-detention-center-red-flag-raised-about-gynecologist/SH7TJ35UJRAOXONQH7KALL7IVM/
4. https://whistleblower.org/in-the-news/associated-press-lawmakers-who-toured-georgias-irwin-county-detention-center-raise-concerns/
5. https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/13/world/mexico-women-irwin-ice-detention-intl/index.html
6. https://wcbs880.radio.com/articles/ny-lawmaker-describes-horror-stories-at-detention-center
7. https://www.myjournalcourier.com/opinion/article/Editorial-Investigate-claims-of-detainee-rights-15652055.php
8. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/adolfoflores/ice-detainee-fears-irwin-county-medical-procedures
9. https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/ice-detainee-hysterectomies-hospital/2020/09/22/aaf2ca7e-fcfd-11ea-830c-a160b331ca62_story.html
10. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mexico-says-2-women-may-have-had-nonconsensual-surgery-ice-n1243427
11. https://www.ocregister.com/ice-facility-where-unwanted-hysterectomies-allegedly-performed-to-get-visit-from-reps-correa-barragan-gomez
12. https://www.ajc.com/news/ice-detainees-complained-about-rough-treatment-from-georgia-doctor/S4V5UDBRKZCJZMSUPOJQRXKYNM/
13. https://www.rollcall.com/2020/10/07/5-hysterectomies-referred-by-ice-center-dhs-tells-congress/
14. https://wgxa.tv/news/local/wgxa-talks-with-attorney-of-former-ice-detainee-who-alleges-unauthorized-surgery
15. https://www.kusi.com/more-migrant-women-say-they-didnt-ok-surgery/
16. https://www.11alive.com/video/news/state/obgyn-on-irwin-county-detention-center-surgeries/85-607875ca-0a08-4bc9-9a04-bb38f0f4ed55
17. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/immigration/2020/10/12/protests-grow-over-pending-deportations-to-cameroon-amid-abuse-allegations/
18. https://theintercept.com/2020/10/02/ice-irwin-amin-obgyn-cameroon-women/
19. https://www.prismreports.org/article/2020/9/17/immigrants-allege-mistreatment-by-georgia-doctor-and-whistleblower
20. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/16/us/ICE-hysterectomies-whistleblower-georgia.html
21. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/16/us/ICE-hysterectomies-whistleblower-georgia.html
22. https://leads.ap.org/best-of-the-week/immigrant-medical-treatment-at-detention-facility

Please adjudicate this request within the ten business days required by law.

Many thanks.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Andrew Free

From: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Dear Andrew Free,
The Department of Homeland Security PAL has requested you enter the following Identification Code in order to proceed with the retrieval of your account information.
Identification Code: v0oox6
Regards,
Department of Homeland Security

From: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Dear Andrew Free,
Once you login, please change your password to protect your account details.
User Name: requests@muckrock.com
Password: 1Xd_H4xU
Regards,
Department of Homeland Security

From: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Dear Andrew Free,
The Department of Homeland Security PAL has requested you enter the following Identification Code in order to proceed with the retrieval of your account information.
Identification Code: jnmtdx
Regards,
Department of Homeland Security

From: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

January 7, 2021 Andrew Free MuckRock News DEPT MR 103936 411A Highland Ave Somerville, Massachusetts 02144 RE:     ICE FOIA Case Number 2021-ICFO-04070 Dear Mr. Free: This acknowledges receipt of your October 17, 2020, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for records evidencing various information regarding medical treatment on and informed consent by civilly detained immigrants at ICDC for the time period beginning January 20, 2017 to present.  Your request was received in this office on October 19, 2020. Due to the increasing number of FOIA requests received by this office, we may encounter some delay in processing your request. Per Section 5.5(a) of the DHS FOIA regulations, 6 C.F.R. Part 5, ICE processes FOIA requests according to their order of receipt. Although ICE’s goal is to respond within 20 business days of receipt of your request, the FOIA does permit a 10- day extension of this time period. As your request seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a thorough and wide-ranging search, ICE will invoke a 10-day extension for your request, as allowed by Title 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B). If you care to narrow the scope of your request, please contact our office. We will make every effort to comply with your request in a timely manner. Provisions of the FOIA allow us to recover part of the cost of complying with your request.  We shall charge you for records in accordance with the DHS Interim FOIA regulations, as they apply to media requesters.  As a media requester, you will be charged 10 cents per page for duplication; the first 100 pages are free.  We will construe the submission of your request as an agreement to pay up to $25.00. You will be contacted before any further fees are accrued. We have queried the appropriate program offices within ICE for responsive records. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Please be assured that one of the processors in our office will respond to your request as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience as we proceed with your request.
Your request has been assigned reference number 2021-ICFO-04070. Please refer to this identifier in any future correspondence. To check the status of an ICE FOIA/PA request, please visit . Please note that to check the status of a request, you must enter the 2021-ICFO-04070 tracking number. If you need any further assistance or would like to discuss any aspect of your request, please contact the FOIA office. You may send an e-mail to ice-foia@ice.dhs.gov, call toll free (866) 633-1182, or you may contact our FOIA Public Liaison, Fernando Pineiro, in the same manner. Additionally, you have a right to right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) which mediates disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If you are requesting access to your own records (which is considered a Privacy Act request), you should know that OGIS does not have the authority to handle requests made under the Privacy Act of 1974. You may contact OGIS as follows: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001, e-mail at ogis@nara.gov; telephone at 202-741-5770; toll free at 1-877-684-6448; or facsimile at 202-741-5769. (http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status) http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status
Regards,

ICE FOIA Office
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act Office
500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009
Washington, D.C. 20536-5009
Telephone: 1-866-633-1182
Visit our FOIA website at www.ice.gov/foia

From: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Dear Andrew Free,
The status of your ICE FOIA request #2021-ICFO-04070 has been updated to the following status 'In Process'. To log into the Department of Homeland Security PAL click on the Application URL below.
HTTPS://foiarequest.dhs.gov
Sincerely,
Department of Homeland Security

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