House GOP: Rape Prevention Measures an Unreasonable Luxury
Basic human rights—the House GOP is now against them for detained immigrant women. I’d like to know why the Obama administration exempted the centers from the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
What the hell? What sort of country are we becoming?
Added emphasis mine.
“It’s outrageous that immigration detention facilities have morphed into college campuses,” said Rep. Elton Gallegy (R-Calif.).On Wednesday, as most of official Washington was fixing its gaze squarely on the Supreme Court, the House Committee on the Judiciary convened a hearing on another issue: the supposedly posh conditions at the Department of Homeland Security’s immigrant detention centers. The hearing, dubbed “Holiday on ICE” by chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), focused on the idea that Obama administration rules intended to prevent sexual abuse and inhumane conditions at Immigrations and Customs Enforcement facilities made detention too fancy. “War on Women,” meet “War on Immigrant Women.”
In 2008, the Washington Post published an in-depth investigation of inhumane conditions at ICE detention centers. As Bob Libal at Texas Prison Bid’ness points out, ICE was forced to cancel its contract with a detention center in Texas’ Willacy County after it was “rocked by allegations of sexual assaults, immigrant smuggling, spoiled food, and protests.” Those conditions, detailed in a 2011 Frontline report, were exacerbated by Obama administration policies exempting immigration detention centers from the Prison Rape Elimination Act. As far as accommodations go, Willacy was more Hostel than Holiday Inn.
“Under this administration, detention looks more like recess,” Smith proclaimed.The new standards, unveiled in February, were meant to ensure a basic threshold of human rights at an agency marred by serial abuse, sexual and otherwise. As the Los Angeles Times explained, “Among other things, the new rules improve access to mental health care and legal assistance, and establish additional safeguards for reporting mistreatment.” New rules set up a hotline for immigrants to report abuse, and require strip searches—a common source of sexual assault charges—to be conducted by guards of the same gender.
If you think that sounds like a badly needed (if incomplete) fix, you’re probably not a member of the House Republican caucus, though. “It’s outrageous that immigration detention facilities have morphed into college campuses,” said Rep. Elton Gallegy (R-Calif.). “Under this administration, detention looks more like recess,” Smith proclaimed. […]