Via America’s Lawyer: A whistleblower reveals migrant women at a detention center in Georgia have been subject to forced hysterectomies and other sterilization procedures by a doctor dubbed the “uterus collector.” Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more. Also, unaccompanied minors are flocking to the southern border as the Biden administration deals with the highest immigration rate in almost twenty years. RT correspondent Brigida Santos joins Mike Papantonio to discuss how private prison contractors are eager to claim responsibility over thousands of migrant detainees.
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Mike Papantonio: News that migrant detainees were undergoing forced sterilization procedures captured the nation’s interest only for a few minutes and of course, then they moved on. It’s corporate media is such, it’s such a train wreck.
Farron Cousins: Well, you know, the president got sick and, oh my God. And there was a debate and we missed the real stories that are happening in this country.
Mike Papantonio: Talk about this. This is a nauseating story. The only thing, the only positive on this, the only positive is, is at this point, they don’t have all the evidence on this case. If they do, this is a very, very ugly case.
Farron Cousins: Right. So basically to take it back, I guess, about a month or so ago, a whistleblower nurse who had worked at this detention facility, woman by the name of Dawn Wooten came out and said, listen, there is evidence that says there is an abnormally, large number of hysterectomies being performed on the women in this Georgia detention facility. Shortly after that you had some of these women start coming forward and say, yes, I’m, I’m actually one of them. I had a hysterectomy. They didn’t exactly tell me why it was happening, or they may have exaggerated the number of cysts that I had because of follow-up at another appointment said, no, this was not surgically necessary.
Mike Papantonio: See, that’s where, that’s where the screw turns, you see. This doctor who they call the uterus collector.
Farron Cousins: Oh god.
Mike Papantonio: I mean, that’s his, that’s his name, the uterus collector. Well, he says I did this because there was this, this large number of cysts, ovarian cysts that really concerned me. And I don’t know how many women he saw, but right now there’s at least five to seven women that I’ve been able to calculate in these stories. Is that number sound about, right?
Farron Cousins: Right. So far from what we know, that’s how many there are, but this doctor has a bit of a troubled history. I was, I was looking through it actually earlier today, trying to find more backstory on this man. And it turns out back in 2015, he got popped by the DOJ. A very easy slap on the wrist, kind of pop.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah.
Farron Cousins: But he had submitted, according to the DOJ, fraudulent claims under Medicaid and Medicare. And he was fraudulent billing. He was saying, oh, I performed this procedure, this procedure and this procedure, it turns out he didn’t perform them. He was just doing it to get extra money. And that was five years ago that he was fined for it, activity going all the way back to 2013. So this to me is one of those stories had they actually punished the man.
Mike Papantonio: Right, right.
Farron Cousins: He wouldn’t have been around to do this.
Mike Papantonio: It’s, it’s always the same story.
Farron Cousins: It is.
Mike Papantonio: They will not perp walk CEOs of corporations. They will rarely perp doctors for this kind of thing. They slap them on the wrist and then they move on. But you see that, that fits so perfectly into this story.
Farron Cousins: It does.
Mike Papantonio: Obviously, if he’s doing a hysterectomy, the billable number on that is higher. He comes up with an X Ray to remove cysts. Well, you know, it, it, it’s a fairly substantial number of, of involvement of cysts and those types of blockage possibilities that raise the need for surgery. And so the women that were looked at at least a few of them went back for a second opinion, said, did they, did he really have to do that? And then of course it’s, it’s, it’s Monday, it’s Monday night quarter, Monday morning quarterbacking.
Farron Cousins: Right.
Mike Papantonio: But the doctors say, no, he didn’t. But if you look at this guy’s history, you have to believe that you can’t change the stripes on a zebra, you know.
Farron Cousins: Well, and I think to me, you know, that’s a big part of this too. This isn’t necessarily a, the Trump administration is sterilizing people.
Mike Papantonio: No, no.
Farron Cousins: This is a, you’ve got a real bad doctor who has a very serious and very real history of up billing. And he found out, okay, I can’t say I’m doing a procedure and not do it. So I’ll just do the procedure. I think that’s what this evolved into with the doctor.
Mike Papantonio: Because it’s more money.
Farron Cousins: Right. Well, I can’t just say I did it. They’re going to notice if this woman didn’t have it. So let me just do it. I’ve done it a hundred times. I know how to do it. It’s fast. It’s easy. I can bill it, more money for me. This is a migrant who cares and that’s the other part of it. They think, well, it’s not a US citizen. It’s not somebody who can go to a lawyer. They’re here illegally. I’m ok.
Mike Papantonio: But, honestly, I don’t see this as an ICE undertaking to get these people. That’s, that’s where this story gets a little weird.
Farron Cousins: Right, right, right. I think there’s, I think there’s a big disconnect between the two.
Mike Papantonio: It’s a doctor. It’s, it’s the doctor.
Farron Cousins: Right.
Mike Papantonio: Unaccompanied minors are crossing the border at higher pace this year, leaving the Biden administration scrambling to rebuild whatever they’ve created in the last several months. I have Brigida Santos joining me now to talk about this story. Brigida, the, you know, it’s that whole thing, you know, Biden comes into office and says Trump was awful. We have to agree with a lot of that. But the cameras, the reporting what’s happening on the border. It’s not only the same thing, it almost looks worse. What’s causing the surge of unaccompanied migrant children coming to the US besides Biden’s invitation, what’s happening down there?
Brigida Santos: Well, the current surge is partially due to the Biden administration’s reversal of immigration policies that were set under the previous administration. Unaccompanied minors at the border are no longer expelled from the country as they were previously and instead they’re processed at border facilities and transferred to shelters managed by health and human services, which ultimately places children with a US sponsor. Now homeland security reports that in 80% of cases, the sponsor is a family member and in half of those cases, that family member is a parent or legal guardian. So they’re coming here to be with family. But the extra flow plus pandemic related health and safety protocols are unfortunately slowing everything down. So border patrol facilities are now detaining children beyond the 72 hour legal limit and we’re starting to see photos of that emerging.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Well, how has the department of homeland security dealing with this incredible increase of child migration? What’s, what, what are they doing that’s different? If you, if you follow this story, it almost sounds like their right to do much has been, has been pulled back. What, what’s happening as this story develops?
Brigida Santos: Well, DHS is scrambling. The number of migrant children detained at the Southern US border has tripled in two weeks. And despite the additional risks of the pandemic, shelters for migrant children have now been instructed to return to full capacity. The Pentagon has also approved a request to house migrant children at two military facilities in Southern Texas. DHS is also reportedly setting up additional facilities in Arizona and Florida and soon child migrants may be held in facilities owned or operated by for-profit prison companies. Homeland security and immigrations and customs enforcement have long outsourced the country’s immigration detention system. So this is not something that would be outlandish. As of January 2020, 81% of people in ICE custody nationwide were held in facilities owned or operated by private prison corporations. Now in January, president Biden did sign an executive order directing the department of justice, not to renew contracts with private prison companies, but that order does not apply to other federal agencies like DHS or ICE. And according to the Intercept, at least three private companies have now posted job listings related to a child detention center in Florida that has a history of abuse. So this is very troubling.
Mike Papantonio: Well, not only abuse. You, you see a lot of these prison companies, it’s, they’ve got a long history of failure. That’s the problem. They’re overcharging the government. They’re under-staffing people. They’re not even complying with the basic, basic parameters of what it should look like, and we continue to allow it anyway and now, now we’re, they’re just inviting more of them in. I mean, come on in and now take care of the children. What about the overall migration at the border? Is there an overall increase this year or is that, is, is, are those just figures that we’re hearing from folks who have an interest in stopping migration?
Brigida Santos: Yeah, of course. We’re not just seeing an increase in unaccompanied minors. We’re seeing an overall surge in migration. The US is now on track to encounter more migrants at the Southwest border than it has in two decades. Some of the reasons for the overall surge include the seasonal influx, climate disasters like hurricanes in Latin America, the war on drugs and US trade policies that have advanced American corporate interests at the expense of civilians in Latin America. Problems at the border have existed for a very long time and both political parties have failed completely to solve them.
Mike Papantonio: Brigida, thank you for joining me. It sounds like it’s something that Biden better get busy with. I don’t know that sending Kamala Harris down there to take all the heat for this is the right thing to do, but we’ll see as this develops. Thank you for joining me. Okay.
Brigida Santos: Anytime, Mike.