Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I've been hit with some kind of fell winter bug. My head hurts, my chest hurts, I have a dry cough so my ribs hurt, plus I'm running a low grade fever. I am, therefore, justifiably cranky, which makes it a bad time for me to read a Los Angeles Times editorial. I am now absolutely enraged, not by the editorial stance (the center-left editorial board got it so right than I am staggered and would be pleased with them if I felt better), but by the information contained in that editorial.

When Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act, it did so in the hope of curbing sexual assaults in facilities across the country. But today, with new rules to protect prisoners being finalized, the Department of Homeland Security is demanding that immigrants held in detention centers be exempted. ...

...the Department of Homeland Security is now squabbling over whether it or the Department of Justice has the authority to write rules that protect immigrants.

Isn't it obvious that protecting detainees is more important than who is the boss of whom? Detained immigrants are just as vulnerable to assault as any other prisoners, yet they're especially reluctant to report it. Unlike criminal defendants, detainees have no right to a court-appointed lawyer; that means they're often left with no advocate they can turn to. They are held in remote facilities, often far from legal clinics and family. And language creates an additional barrier to reporting abuse.
[Emphasis added]

Homeland Security and Justice are in a freaking turf war over this issue? And their boss, the President of the United States is letting this happen? Is there no one in charge over there? Are there no adults present at that end of town?


Here's the editorial's conclusion:

Rape is a crime. To apply the new regulations to some and not others would create a two-tier system of justice. That's not acceptable. Immigrants who are detained while they fight deportation (and who, by the way, have not generally been charged with, much less convicted of, a crime) deserve the same protections provided to criminals sentenced to maximum-security prisons.


Now, somebody needs to take Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder to the woodshed and read them the editorial, after which they should apply a mackerel to both of their heads and shoulders with great force.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get well, Diane.

Glad to hear the cough syrup is kicking in.


4:21 PM  

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