October 5, 2012

Getting Past Cicilline Spin on Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

Marc Comtois

This afternoon, WPRO's Dan Yorke has taken the Doherty campaign to task (again, hey, it's a day that ends in "y") for not being clear on why Doherty supposedly opposes the Violence Against Women Act that is currently stalled in Congress. In truth, there are two versions of the act and Doherty supports the House version. Now, given that I agree with Yorke that Doherty could do a better job explaining his position, it seems Yorke is falling pray to Cicilline campaign spin on the issue. As such, I think this portion of the explanation from the sponsor of the House's version of the re-authorization--Sandy Adams, R-Fla (and, yes, a woman)--is warranted:

The House and Senate versions of VAWA are largely similar, but at the center of the controversy are three brand new proposals the Senate included in its reauthorization. These added provisions veer from VAWA’s original intent, as well as past reauthorizations.

The first of these three provisions would give sovereign Native American tribes potentially unconstitutional jurisdiction by allowing their courts to try non-Indians. While no one disputes that Native American victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking need help and that their assaulters should be prosecuted, it should be done within the bounds of the Constitution.

Rather than trying to implement unconstitutional provisions, the House-passed bill designates domestic violence tribal liaisons within the U.S. Attorney’s Offices. The liaison would serve as a direct link between the U.S. Attorneys charged with prosecuting non-Indians who commit crimes on tribal lands, and Native American criminal justice systems. Additionally, the House bill allows Native American victims of domestic violence or stalking to get a restraining order against their abuser in a federal district court.

The second addition included in the Senate bill sets aside specific protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims of abuse. While I agree that these individuals should have access to VAWA services, I disagree with the Senate’s approach which pits victim against victim. I believe all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking should be protected equally. This is why my bill includes language that specifically states, “No person in any State shall on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability be denied the assistance of, or excluded from receiving services from a grantee under, any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under the Violence Against Women Act.”

Finally, the Senate-passed bill disregards the fact that some immigration programs historically included in VAWA reauthorization legislation have been subject to fraud and abuse. The House-passed legislation allows illegal immigrants who apply for and receive a U-visa to stay in the United States to get the care and resources they need after being victimized by a criminal, while at the same time ensuring that the illegal immigrant works with law enforcement officials and prosecutors to put their perpetrators in jail.

However, the bill does not give them the right to permanent residence, unless the perpetrators of the crimes against them are aliens, are convicted of the crime, and are deported to the U-visa holders’ home country. Under these new requirements, the U-visa will no longer grant amnesty to illegal immigrants simply because they claim to have been the victim of a crime. My bill also guarantees the confidentiality of a self-petitioning immigrant who has been abused, and unlike the Senate bill, strengthens anti-fraud protections to ensure that victims – instead of perpetrators of fraud – receive the resources and benefits they need.
Obviously, there is room for disagreement, but to imply and state that House Republicans and the like "don't care" is yet another example straight from the same old Democrat playbook. Too bad people who should know better still fall for it.

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"Transgenders" aren't women-they are genetic men even if they have surgery.It's like saying a soy burger is the same as a hamburger.Same foe the female to male "sex change".
I don't believe in set asides-violence against women applies to every woman.Why wouldn't lesbians be covered?
All more politically correct BS.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 5, 2012 6:37 PM

"Dan Yorke has taken the Doherty campaign to task (again, hey, it's a day that ends in "y")"


Posted by: Monique at October 6, 2012 7:13 AM

Please please please WPRO pull the plug on Yorke - he is bombastic and frankly intellectually dishonest. I really think he's trying to be liked by the democratic establishment by trashing any and all republicans at every turn. Perhaps the new program director at WPRO reads blogs - this is your radio station's audience and we dislike Yorke! I stopped listening to him quite some time ago - I suggest Rush from 12 to 3 on WHJJ 920 AM!

Posted by: tommyd at October 6, 2012 1:20 PM


Please don't whine like a liberal. With all the crying the left does about boycotting sponsors and shutting-down conservative talk show hosts, I very rarely hear conservatives following suit. Let's not start now.

Posted by: Max D at October 6, 2012 6:18 PM

Isn't it great that they don't ask Doherty what part of the Senate bill he has a problem with or if he supports the House bill? I guess they had to change tracks when Doherty pointed out how many women killers Cicilline defended. Now it's the transgendered. I guess Cicilline didn't defend any killers of the transgendered.

Posted by: Max D at October 6, 2012 6:27 PM

"Now it's the transgendered. I guess Cicilline didn't defend any killers of the transgendered."

Dammit, have women been surpassed as a victim group??? I'm appealing this to the UN!

Posted by: Monique at October 7, 2012 9:46 AM

When I was assigned to the Chicago INS office we had a big problem with transvestite and/or "transgendered"illegal aliens who were engaged in prostitution,drugs,and robbery.We locked up a lot of them,some numerous times and at the risk of being called a bigot(I don't give a damn)these people lived a lifestyle that invited some really bad things happening to them,not to mention THEM happening to others.As in a middle aged Mexican male meets a "girl"in abar when he's half in the bag-they get out to the car and he(a)finds out they are similarly equipped and(b)gets robbed and assaulted-any guesses on how eager a married man in a community that values "machismo"wants to bring this to court?So the police turned to INS for the simple solution-deportation.It worked pretty well.
The point is I got to see a lot more of the "lifestyle"of gays and transsexuals than I wanted to-this being generally between 1978-82 when I was re-assigned to another squad that didn't deal with that crap.It was just prior to and during the period when AIDS became a health problem,and the unrestrained "gay"lifestyle was like suicide in progress.Violence was a constant presence,mostly ignored by the criminal justice system.
Comparing this with actual women being victimized is obscene and invalid.Most female victims of violence don't go looking for it.
If this offends anyone's sensibilities,too bad.Reality isn't always pleasant.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 7, 2012 1:05 PM
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