Survivor Of Medical Abuse In ICE Jail Deported After Speaking Out
Jaromy Floriano Navarro, a former inmate at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, was deported last month after speaking out about medical abuse she suffered while being treated by a gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary procedures.
- In an interview with Democracy Now!, Navarro said she “told the nurse that I had heavy cramps and that all I wanted was some medication, like ibuprofen or something.”
- Instead, she was sent to see Dr. Mahendra Amin.
- Navarro said: “From day one that I met Dr. Amin, he said, 'OK, you need surgery.’ They were really trying to do the surgery on me, for whatever reason. They wanted to take my womb out.”
- Initially, she was told she had a cyst that needed draining and subsequently was taken to see Amin numerous times from March to September of this year: “He would always check me. If it wasn’t with his fingers, then it would be with the [ultrasound] wand.”
- Amin treated Navarro with the Depo-Provera shot at first, but she said he would always tell her she needed surgery. “But for some reason, I never knew when the surgery was going to be,” she said.
- When it finally came time for her surgery on July 31, Navarro was told she was having the cyst drained; however, on the day of surgery she said she learned Amin intended to perform a hysterectomy.
- Navarro said she was not permitted to read the consent form she signed, but the nurse told her it “said that if anything happens to me during the surgery, they weren’t responsible.”
- Prior to being prepped for surgery, Navarro had been tested for the coronavirus. It happened to come back positive, meaning she could not have the surgery that day.
- She said: “My whole world sinked at the moment, and I thought I was going to die because of COVID. I mean, I’ve been locked in there. It’s dirty. They don’t feed us correctly. They don’t take care of us.”
- Navarro’s surgery was rescheduled for August 14, even though her months-long appeal had ended on July 31. She refused to have the surgery but remained in custody at the detention center.
- Navarro said she saw Amin again on Sept. 15 and he was angry that she refused the hysterectomy. This was the same day she learned about reporting on unwanted procedures being performed on women at the detention center.
- It was also the day she was deported.
- She said “everybody in Irwin County Detention Center, the officers were all asking if it was me who had spoken up. And…I was like, ‘Yes, it was me. I told. I told a lawyer that you guys were doing illegal surgeries here, because that’s how I felt.’”
Democracy Now! noted:
An independent medical review team has submitted a report to Congress on a lack of informed consent and “disturbing pattern” of questionable gynecological surgical procedures at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, after an account from a nurse whistleblower in September prompted congressional and federal investigations.
At least 19 women, most of whom are Black and Latina, have come forward to allege they were pressured into “unnecessary” gynecological treatment and surgeries — including procedures that left them sterile — while they were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.