Fairness for Victims

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In a show of fairness, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office is offering a helping hand to women who have been brought into America by human traffickers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines sex trafficking as “a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years.”

Once a victim is identified, T visas will allow the victim of trafficking, including forced labor, sexual or involuntary servitude, to stay and work in the United States on a temporary basis.

Longer term U visas are offered to the victims of domestic violence.

This policy reduces the chances that women brought to this country by the sex traffickers will be victimized twice. The traffickers routinely tell their victims that if they go to the authorities, they will be deported to countries where they may face public scorn.

In addition to a personal stigma, they may fear the traffickers will punish their families.

The treatment of these victims should not get caught up in the debate over immigration. These victims deserve compassion and understanding.

Yelling the Loudest

At a protest outside the office of U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, demonstrators said they were angry about the congressman’s support for the federal mandate that all insurance plans cover the cost of birth control.

Engaging in the hyperbole that has clouded this debate since Day 1, Ray Mooney, of Flushing, said, “A line has been drawn in the sand. What we have seen is the U.S. government say to the Catholic Church, ‘We don’t care.’”

The protesters have done their best to portray the administration as an enemy of the First Amendment.

Not to be outdone, the other side has portrayed the protest as an assault on the rights of women.

Neither is true, nor is it true that the ban on contraception is a “deeply held Catholic belief.” In fact, most Catholic women don’t care what the priests and bishops say about contraception.

It is just as untrue to say that the handful of people standing outside Ackerman’s office don’t care about the health of women.

Posted 5:03 pm, April 4, 2012
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