A Cameroonian immigrant slated for deportation,was taken off the plane at the last minute, thanks to a timely intervention by a congresswoman.
Pauline Binam was nearly deported Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to Cameroon, a country she left when she was 2 years old. Binam, now 30, was on the tarmac when members of Congress say they intervened.
Binam's lawyer, Vân Huynh, says her client sought treatment for an irregular menstrual cycle and thought she was getting a routine procedure known as dilation and curettage to remove tissue from her uterus last year.
"When she woke up from the surgery, the doctor informed her that they had to remove one of her fallopian tubes," says Huynh, with the non-profit Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, which also helped prepare the whistleblower complaint.
"Of course, Pauline was very upset and sort of appalled that this had happened without her consent," Huynh says.
The long-term medical implications are not clear, but that the procedure could prevent Binam from conceiving a child, Huynh says.
"It felt like ICE was trying to rush through her deportation," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington state. "I can't say that for certain, but all of this is extremely troubling."
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
Members of Congress are demanding an investigation into allegations from immigrant women who say they were subjected to medical procedures without their consent while detained at an ICE facility in Georgia. Some women say they underwent hysterectomies or other surgeries that left them sterile.
Binam is one of a growing number of immigrant women complaining about care they received while they were held at the privately-operated Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga.
ICE confirmed that Binam is still in the country and denied any link between her allegations and her scheduled deportation. ICE says she was pulled off the plane because of a paperwork snafu with the Cameroonian government — not because of congressional intervention.
We would monitor this story closely and provide updates.
Culled from NPR