Friday, April 14, 2017

Holy Week & Cruelty

Why am I surprised at the cruelty happening during Holy Week this year?

This is actually a week underlain by violence and political oppression.

  • the Pharaoh's oppression of Jewish slaves c. 1300 BCE
  • Roman oppression of Israel and crackdown on potential rebellions c. 30 CE
  • outbursts of violence against traditional Jews 
    • by Jewish followers of the Messiah in the latter first century 
    • by Christians in later centuries during Holy Week and Christmas.

Thank you to Caitlin Dickerson of the New York Times for her report titled "Trump's Plan Would Curtail Protections for Detained Immigrants." 

"The changes, which will coincide with the closing of an office that develops regulations, will essentially hold these jails to the same standards they must follow for criminal inmates. That is a break from a long-held philosophy that people held on immigration violations, who are considered by law to be “civil” detainees, should be treated differently..."

Are people who cross the border illegally "criminals" like those who commit assault and murder and robbery?

Or are they law-abiding persons who can't find any other way to flee poverty and violence?

Dickerson highlights some of the protections that may vanish:

For more than 15 years, jails that hold immigrants facing deportation have had to follow a growing list of requirements:
Notify immigration officials if a detainee spends two weeks or longer in solitary confinement. Check on suicidal inmates every 15 minutes, and evaluate their mental health every day. Inform detainees, in languages they can understand, how to obtain medical care. In disciplinary hearings, provide a staff member who can advocate in English on the detainee’s behalf.
If we remove these protections, it is we who are the criminals. not the would-be immigrants. People are dying in our detainment centers already--these changes would cause more deaths.

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