The press conference on the Georgia detention center story has started. First speaker is a staff attorney at Project South - Priyanka Bhat - does whistleblower advocacy. Whistleblower filed 9/8 regarding COVID issues at LaSalle. 1
Project South filed a larger complaint to the ICE inspector general. No testing of detainees for COVID despite symptoms and requests. 2
Dawn Wooten, a nurse at the detention center, is now up. This is the whistleblower. She has been employed for several years there. She is a sickle cell sufferer and single parent so she’s been very cautious. 3
No testing of anyone until June. No sanitizing. No PPE. She wasn’t provided a mask. She complained about no testing for symptomatic detainees. Was told that detainees would fake having COVID if that was an option. 4
She got demoted for complaining too much. Last straw was when she became symptomatic and she was written up for not coming in to work. Then she was demoted again. 5
Next - Kimberly Bollo-Aponte - Program Coordinator with Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights. Over the last few years, LAHR has observed problems with for profit detention centers - lack of food, medical neglect. 6
No woman should undergo surgery without informed consent. People who complained were put in isolation and otherwise punished. 7
Reverend Leeann Culbreath is next - South Georgia Immigrant Support Network. Their volunteers support immigrants at LaSalle. Volunteers lives are also put at risk. Aware of numerous cases of COVID in the detention center. No disinfectant being used. Mold is everywhere. 8
Insects everywhere. No social distancing. Now outlining case of women being told they have an ovarian cyst. Many women given the same diagnosis. Put under anesthesia and then given hysterectomies. 9
Priyanka Bhatt - 40 cases of COVID confirmed at the facility. Also, there’s a similar whistleblower complaint at another facility. 10
Bhatt - The hysterectomy problem has been going on for several years. The complaint alleges 5 women who had the procedure over a couple of months without informed consent. 11
Reverend Culbreath - Women are shackled when they’re taken to these appointments in shackles. 12
That’s the end of the press conference, but they’re urging more whistleblowers employed at the facility to step forward. 13

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More from @gsiskind

18 Sep
A few thoughts about Milligan v. Pompeo, the lawsuit we filed earlier this evening. First, the case is filed on behalf of 150 couples seeking K-1 fiance visas. K-1 visas are filed by US citizens on behalf of their foreign fiances/fiancees. 1
Since the beginning of the pandemic, virtually none of these cases has been approved and couples remain separated with virtually no communication. 2
This is NOT because consulates are closed. State Department workers have been working since the beginning of the pandemic and most are issuing visas. But not to these couples. Spouses of US citizens get visas BTW. 3
Read 13 tweets
11 Sep
Since people are talking about their 9/11 memories...9/11 was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for me.
I was on a trip to NYC with my wife for business and also to attend the 120th anniversary of the founding of @HIASrefugees which happened the Sunday before.
My wife was flying home that Tuesday morning and I was going to be heading down to our NYC office downtown. I was just coming back from a morning walk to my Midtown hotel when I saw a lot of cars pulled over with the drivers standing outside all looking south.
Read 16 tweets
27 Aug
Twitter is making me start a new threat. #noban 49
Judge - Before 6/22, when consular officer was reviewing an H-1B, did the officer have to review critical infrastructure requirement? Isn’t that a new requirement? Judge - Where do I look for criteria consular officer is supposed to use. Wen - It’s in the INA. #noban 49.1
Wen addressing Panda arguments. Judge - Anything in administrative record to support finding that Pres was consulting with DOL and DHS secretaries re impact on economy? Wen - I think so. Don’t have cite handy. #noban 50
Read 33 tweets
27 Aug
The preliminary injunction hearing in the Gomez v. Trump (& consolidated cases). I will be sharing thoughts as we go along. Should start in a few minutes & last about 90 to 120 minutes. This is a critical hearing. The judge will decide whether to enjoin the visa bans. 1
I’ll be using the #noban hashtag per @curtisatlaw’s suggestion. 2
While we’re waiting, however this case goes, kudos to the various teams of lawyers who filed the cases challenging the 4/22 and 6/22 visa ban lawsuits. 500,000 people are impacted and the work that’s gone into this effort has been massive. #noban 3
Read 49 tweets
22 Aug
OK, so here’s my summary of a new case that’s pretty important. USCIS, as part of their strategy to close down immigration to the US, has published a new fee list with massive increases in a variety of categories. This case is trying to stop it from taking effect in October. 1
The case is Immigrant Legal Resource Center v. Chad Wolf (I’ll be calling it ILRC v Wolf) and it’s filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. It was prepared by lawyers at Sidley Austin and by Jesse Bless at @ailanational. 2
@AILANational The complaint starts by noting some of the stark changes. Becoming a US citizen goes from $0 to $1170 for low income applicants. Asylum applicants are charged for the first time ($630). And it gives ICE a 21% budget increase at the expense of low-income applicants. 3
Read 7 tweets
18 Aug
6/22 memo - Posts should only issue visas if a national interest exception applies. Confirms what we know - Government's position is 212(f) is being interpreted to allow banning visas even though language of statute limited to entries. That's a key point in our lawsuit. 12
The July 8th cable has details about how the posts are to resume processing. In 4 phases - Zero, One, Two and Three. Zero is total shutdown and only emergency and mission critical cases. 13
Sorry, that's zero/one. In Phase 2 posts should take about two months and for IV cases, start prioritizing immediate relatives. In Phase 3, routine visa services for all IV cases. Ks can resume BUT ARE THE LOWEST PRIORITY. 14
Read 8 tweets

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