Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Obama administration is not doing enough to protect immigrant detainees from sexual assaults in immigration detention centers
NPR Reports that the Obama administration is not doing enough to protect immigrant detainees from sexual assaults in immigration detention centers, and is actually seeking an exemption from a new rule that seeks to protect against prison rape because they don't want to be told what to do.
The new rule, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), was unanimously passed by Congress and imposes a zero tolerance policy on guards and wardens, as well as establishing reporting mechanisms. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is charged with developing the PREA rules.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversees immigration detention facilities. They are seeking an exemption from PREA because they don't want DOJ to have the ability to order DHS around. The likely outcome of this petty inconvenience is the continued abuse of immigrant detainees on President Obama's watch.
More hope and change from the Obama administration.
There have been 200 reported complaints of sexual abuse of immigrant detainees in the past five years, but ACLU lawyers state that the actual number of abuses is likely substantially higher because immigrant detainees are afraid to report instances of abuse. ACLU Legislative Counsel Joanne Lin states: "Traumatized by the sexual assaults, [immigrant detainees] are understandably loath to report the abuse to the same government authorities that have the power to rape, detain and deport them."
See below for the full NPR report.