Posts Tagged ‘child prostitution’

We’ve Run Out of Visas for Crime Victims

Immigration is an issue that grabs people’s spirit close to the root—I find people getting passionate about the issue more than I’d expect, and from that passion and oftentimes, anger, rash decisions get made and harsh laws get enacted. I don’t know how to defuse the level of heels-dug-in irrationality (on both sides, I fear), but I do, personally, find this situation untenable.

Since 2007 (and how absurd is it that it took us until 2007?), the United States has created a particular visa, called a U Visa, for undocumented victims of violent crime, sexual assault, and human trafficking, who cooperate with legal authorities to capture the perpetrators of the crimes against them. You can imagine how often victims of sexual assault and human slavery/trafficking (an epidemic here in the US as well as around the world) are told by kidnappers/pimps/etc that if they go to the authorities they’ll be deported and/or imprisoned. Most are so fearful of the US Immigration repercussions that they put up with violent assault or ongoing slavery/trafficking (and we are often talking about kids here–10, 11, 12 years old, too many of them…and of course, in many of these cases, it is the trafficker that has brought the victim into this country against their will and undocumented).

So this victims visa, the U Visa, can really help cut down on violent crime and trafficking…BUT… the government has a cap and only allows a certain number of the U Visas to be issued per year…and they are all used up! When the new fiscal year begins in October, the next year’s U Visas can be granted, but between now and then? Tough luck victims. I’m sure somebody somewhere thought that putting an arbitrary cap on the number of these visas made sense, but I sure don’t see the logic. For the individual victim of violent crime, it really doesn’t matter how many before you were also victimized. It is so clearly, to me at least, a case of bizarre randomness being made into law based on statistics instead of humanity.

From Change.org: “Think about it this way: 10,000 victims visas means 10,000 violent criminals who law enforcement is able to investigate and prosecute. We should offer as many visas as there are victims, to protect both those individuals and the public from as many dangerous criminals as possible. Sign this petition to tell Congress to eliminate the arbitrary cap on crime victims visas.

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X-Files for Charity

It has been next-to-impossible for me to access the Internet while here in the Maldives, so apologies for the lack of posts. One of the amazing things about being “unplugged” is how much time seems to stretch and proceed at a much more luxurious pace (in spite of a lot of very un-luxurious rain). We haven’t turned on a TV once–a huge thing for us. So often while traveling, the TV is just a reach out for familiarity–and you end up watching re-runs of some show you didn’t care enough about to tune in for the first time.

One show that fans tend to watch over and over and over again, is The X-Files. Former cast members and creators of the David Duchovny/Gillian Anderson supernatural/sci-fi/freaky deaky show (sometimes as campy and absurd as anything on the air) are reunitinf for a November 14 event to raise money for their chosen charities. gI_0_FTF1993small

Actress Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully), actor Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner), executive producer/writer Frank Spotnitz, and executive producer/director Rob Bowman (currently executive producer and director on ABC’s hit “Castle”) reunite to talk all things “X-Files” and answer questions from fans (like the rumors about an X-Files 3 movie and the 2012 mythology that could make a whole new series). This is a rare opportunity for fans and filmmakers to get together to explore and discuss the process of making this iconic television series, ask questions about the panelists’ new projects, and raise money for some very worthy causes.

Tickets for the Q&A event are now available at http://www.ibginc.org/tickets. Proceeds will be donated in support of the participants’ chosen charities, including The Santa Monica-UCLA Rape Treatment Center, Off the Street Kids (aiding yung, marginalized people of South Africa), Fezeka, and Children of the Night (rescuing American children from prostitution). Check out those links to find some truly important charities.