Yesterday’s announcement from the Obama administration that “prosecutorial discretion” should be used to allow undocumented students to stay in the US, and that enforcement efforts should instead focus on deportation of criminals, is little more than a public relations smokescreen. Ever since the Administration confirmed that states may no longer opt out of Secure Communities, advocates have come down hard on President Obama for failing to live up to promises made to immigrant communities in the US.
Did a psychologist violate his professional ethics when he developed abusive interrogation techniques for use on Guantanamo Bay detainees? Last week, a New York state court dismissed a petition which would have forced the New York Office of Professional Discipline to answer that question.
Although the explicit goal of Secure Communities is to improve public safety by increasing deportations of undocumented criminals, in practice the program catches many non-criminals in its net and can actually decrease public safety by eroding trust between immigrants and local police. Mistrust between police and immigrant communities can lead to underreporting of crimes, leaving these communities vulnerable to violence and impairing officers’ ability to investigate and solve crimes.
In the last week, two different federal courts have demonstrated a commitment to accountability for torture perpetrated by U.S. officials.
PHR Participates in Civil Society Consultation in Preparation for the US Review before the Committee Against Torture
Hans Hogrefe, PHR’s Chief Policy Officer, shared with the State Department detailed information about PHR’s work related to its Campaign Against Torture, including the problems facing women in immigration detention, the involvement of medical professionals in interrogations, and the importance of training medical professionals to recognize and document instances of torture and related abuse.