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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Religious Freedom, Anti-Semitism, And Rule Of Law In The Osce February 12, 2016
Christopher Smith, R-NJ
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak about human rights crises in Europe and Eurasia. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, many people expected that freedom, democracy, and peace, would spread throughout Europe and Eurasia. And yet now, the religious freedom of Christians, and people of other faiths, is being regularly violated. Russia invaded its neighbor Ukraine, illegally annexed Crimea, and is fueling and funding violent proxies in the eastern Donbas region of that country. Deadly anti-Semitism is again stalking European Jewish communities. The worst refugee and migrants’ crisis in Europe since World War II has engulfed the continent. Autocrats are using the law, and acting outside the law, to crush democratic opposition to their despotism. Violent anti-Semitic attacks increased 100 to 400 percent in some European countries between 2013 and 2014. Anti-Semitism, and the evil goal of killing Jewish people, is hardwired into ISIS and those it inspires. Perhaps no other group in Europe is more at risk from ISIS attacks than the European Jewish community. That is why I authored House Resolution 354 as a blueprint for vital actions that are needed to prevent another Paris, Brussels, or Copenhagen. The House of Representatives passed it unanimously and I intend to hold a hearing over the coming weeks to explore what is necessary to ensure these actions are taken. In Crimea, the occupying authorities have targeted and retaliated against the Crimean Tatar people for opposing the annexation and the rule that has followed. Crimean Tatars have been arrested, detained, interrogated, and sometimes charged with extremism, illegal assembly, or belonging to an unregistered religious group. Religious minorities, including the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, have likewise been repressed. Crimeans who opposed or oppose the Russian takeover of Crimea, or have been unwilling to seek a Russian passport, have been at risk of a crackdown. Restrictions have proliferated, including even on the teaching of the Ukrainian language or access to Ukrainian culture."
Protecting Domestic Violence And Stalking Victims Act October 28, 2015
David Cicilline, D-RI
"Despite this fact, many domestic abusers can still legally purchase a gun. There is no Federal prohibition to prevent the sale of a gun to someone convicted of a misdemeanor crime in a dating partner relationship or someone convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses."
In Recognition Of The Women’S Resource Center, Recipient Of The Lackawanna Pro Bono’S Robert W. Munley Award October 21, 2015
Matt Cartwright, D-PA
"The Women’s Resource Center is a non-profit organization located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Women’s Resource Center is the sole provider of domestic violence and sexual assault services in Lackawanna and Susquehanna Counties. Since 1976, Women’s Resource Center has provided free and confidential services that support justice, autonomy, restoration, and safety for adult and child survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Women’s Resource Center utilizes a holistic approach, providing crisis and advocacy services, safe housing, transitional housing and civil/legal representation for survivors. Programs are designed to be flexible to meet the needs of survivors from diverse ethnic, cultural, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. In 2014, Women’s Resource Center provided services to 1,504 survivors of domestic violence and 297 survivors of sexual assault, providing safe housing for 145 families. Civil legal representation was provided for 110 program participants with 206 case filings."
Energy And Water Development And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016—Motion To Proceed October 8, 2015
Claire McCaskill, D-MO
"The American people want us to respect gun rights, but they want us to use common sense. They don’t want terrorists to be able to buy a gun at a gun show. We should not be selling AK-47s to terrorists at gun shows. We should not be allowing someone who is convicted of stalking the ability to buy a gun."
Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 3009, Enforce The Law For Sanctuary Cities Act July 23, 2015
Donna Edwards, D-MD
"Dear Representative: As the Steering Committee of the National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (“NTF”), comprising national leadership organizations advocating on behalf of sexual and domestic violence victims and women’s rights, we represent hundreds of organizations across the country dedicated to ensuring all survivors of violence receive the protections they deserve. For this reason, we write to express our deep concerns about the impact of the “Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act” (H.R. 3009), which amends section 241(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. As government officials, we ask you to approach this issue from the perspective of a leader and be sure of the implications this bill can have on entire communities. All parties have the common goal of making communities safer. This bill will encourage law enforcement to enforce immigration law, and will significantly hinder the ability of certain communities to build trust and cooperation between vulnerable and isolated victims of domestic and sexual violence and law enforcement. Last year marked the twentieth anniversary of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), which has, since it was first enacted, included critical protections for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence. This bill undermines the spirit and protections of VAWA and will have the effect of pushing immigrant survivors and their children (many of whom are likely U.S. Citizens) deeper into the shadows and into danger. As recognized in VAWA, bipartisan legislation supporting our nation’s response to domestic and sexual violence and stalking, immigrant victims of violent crimes are often fearful of contacting law enforcement due to fear that they will be deported. A recent and comprehensive survey shows that 41 percent of Latinos believe that the primary reason Latinos/as do not come forward is fear of deportation. Policies that minimize the intertwining of local law enforcement with ICE help bring the most vulnerable victims out of the shadows by creating trust between law enforcement and the immigrant community, which in turn helps protect our entire communities. Fear of deportation also strengthens the ability of abusers and traffickers to silence and trap their victims. Not only are the individual victims harmed, but their fear of law enforcement leads many to abstain from reporting violent perpetrators or coming forward, and, as a result, dangerous criminals are not identified and go unpunished. These criminals remain on the streets and continue to be a danger to their communities. This bill undermines policies that local communities have determined are appropriate for their localities, and decrease the ability of law enforcement agencies to respond to violent crimes and assist all (immigrant, citizens, etc.) victims of crime. As recognized in VAWA, law enforcement plays a critical role in our coordinated community response to domestic and sexual violence. Federal law enforcement funding supports critical training, equipment, and agency staffing that assists domestic and sexual violence victims. H.R. 3009 will allow violent crimes to go uninvestigated and leave victims without redress due to reductions in funding. For these reasons, we urge you to affirm the intent and spirit of VAWA and oppose the provisions above. Thank you very much for taking this important step to protect and support immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault."

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