HOUSTON — The Trump administration is trying to deport several women who allege they were mistreated by a Georgia gynecologist at an immigration detention center, according to their lawyers.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has already deported six former patients who complained about Dr. Mahendra Amin, who has been accused of operating on migrant women without their consent or performing procedures that were medically unnecessary and potentially endangered their ability to have children. At least seven others at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia, who had made allegations against the doctor have received word that they could soon be removed from the country, the lawyers said.
Hours after one detained woman spoke to federal investigators, she said ICE told her that it had lifted a hold on her deportation and she faced “imminent” removal.
Another woman was taken to a rural Georgia airport early Nov. 9 and told to sign deportation papers, only to be brought back to the facility as her lawyers sued in federal court.
They allege Amin performed operations that caused or worsened their pain without explaining what he was doing or giving them an alternative. Their stories fit a broader pattern of allegations made by detained women against Amin, some of them revealed in interviews with attorneys and medical records reviewed by The Associated Press. But there hasn’t been evidence to support an initial claim that he performed a large number of hysterectomies.
The Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general also is investigating.
Amin’s lawyer, Scott Grubman, has previously denied the doctor did anything wrong and called him a “highly respected physician who has dedicated his adult life to treating a high-risk, underserved population in rural Georgia.” Amin has stopped seeing women at Irwin County Detention Center.
Immigrant advocates have urged federal investigators to examine not just the doctor but also the detention center and any role ICE had in sending patients to him.
While people who have been deported might still be able to serve as witnesses in a criminal or civil case, many end up in unstable countries or situations where it becomes difficult to maintain contact with them. The deportations are occurring in the last weeks of President Donald Trump’s administration following his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden.
“ICE is destroying the evidence needed for this investigation,” said Elora Mukherjee, a Columbia University law professor who is working with several of the women.
ICE said it had notified the Homeland Security inspector general “about any planned transfers or removals of Irwin detainees who were former patients of Dr. Amin.”
“Any implication that ICE is attempting to impede the investigation by conducting removals of those being interviewed is completely false,” the agency said in a statement.
The Justice Department declined to comment. Grubman declined to say whether the doctor had spoken to investigators.