Obsidian Wings points to a particularly despicable piece of proposed legislation. HR 10 is a "homeland security" bill which has, thrown in for good measure, language to codify the cowardly and brutal practice of "extraordinary rendition." What is this "extraordinary rendition," you ask? Good question. Extraordinary rendition is the practice of outsourcing torture. Dennis Hastert, Tom Delay, et al. don't want to get their hands dirty, so they want the government to send detainees to other countries with, let's say, less humanitarian ideals - where people can be tortured for us.
To add insult to injury, HR 10 places the burden of proof on the victim to prove that (s)he is in danger of being tortured. I can't make this stuff up, people.
I missed this the first time around - the bill also says
no court shall have jurisdiction to review the regulations adopted to implement this section
That's right - feel like this law is unconstitutional? Tough luck - they just legislated that no court can review it.
Congressman Edward Markey from Massachusetts proposed this bill to explicity outlaw such torture.
It is vital, seriously, that you call or otherwise contact (a) everyone you know and especially (b) your representative and tell him/her to oppose HR 10 as it is written and support the Mackey bill to outlaw torture.
Below is the language of the bill in question:
H. R. 10
To provide for reform of the intelligence community, terrorism prevention and prosecution, border security, and international cooperation and coordination, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 24, 2004
Mr. HASTERT (for himself, Mr. DELAY, Mr. BLUNT, Ms. PRYCE of Ohio, Mr. HOEKSTRA, Mr. HUNTER, Mr. YOUNG of Florida, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. HYDE, Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia, Mr. OXLEY, Mr. DREIER, Mr. COX, Mr. THOMAS, Mr. NUSSLE, Mr. BOEHNER, and Mr. SMITH of New Jersey) introduced the following bill
SEC. 3032. EXCEPTION TO RESTRICTION ON REMOVAL FOR TERRORISTS AND CRIMINALS.
(1) REVISION DEADLINE- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall revise the regulations prescribed by the Secretary to implement the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, done at New York on December 10, 1984.
(2) EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN ALIENS- The revision--
(A) shall exclude from the protection of such regulations aliens described in section 241(b)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3)(B)) (as amended by this title), including rendering such aliens ineligible for withholding or deferral of removal under the Convention; and
(B) shall ensure that the revised regulations operate so as to--
(i) allow for the reopening of determinations made under the regulations before the effective date of the revision; and
(ii) apply to acts and conditions constituting a ground for ineligibility for the protection of such regulations, as revised, regardless of when such acts or conditions occurred.
(3) BURDEN OF PROOF- The revision shall also ensure that the burden of proof is on the applicant for withholding or deferral of removal under the Convention to establish by clear and convincing evidence that he or she would be tortured if removed to the proposed country of removal.
(b) Judicial Review- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court shall have jurisdiction to review the regulations adopted to implement this section, and nothing in this section shall be construed as providing any court jurisdiction to consider or review claims raised under the Convention or this section, except as part of the review of a final order of removal pursuant to section 242 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1252).
SEC. 3033. ADDITIONAL REMOVAL AUTHORITIES.
(a) In General- Section 241(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1231(b)) is amended--
(1) in paragraph (1)--
(A) in each of subparagraphs (A) and (B), by striking the period at the end and inserting `unless, in the opinion of the Secretary of Homeland Security, removing the alien to such country would be prejudicial to the United States.'; and
(B) by amending subparagraph (C) to read as follows:
`(C) ALTERNATIVE COUNTRIES- If the alien is not removed to a country designated in subparagraph (A) or (B), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall remove the alien to--
`(i) the country of which the alien is a citizen, subject, or national, where the alien was born, or where the alien has a residence, unless the country physically prevents the alien from entering the country upon the alien's removal there; or
`(ii) any country whose government will accept the alien into that country.'; and
(2) in paragraph (2)--
(A) by striking `Attorney General' each place such term appears and inserting `Secretary of Homeland Security';
(B) by amending subparagraph (D) to read as follows:
`(D) ALTERNATIVE COUNTRIES- If the alien is not removed to a country designated under subparagraph (A)(i), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall remove the alien to a country of which the alien is a subject, national, or citizen, or where the alien has a residence, unless--
`(i) such country physically prevents the alien from entering the country upon the alien's removal there; or
`(ii) in the opinion of the Secretary of Homeland Security, removing the alien to the country would be prejudicial to the United States.'; and
(C) by amending subparagraph (E)(vii) to read as follows:
`(vii) Any country whose government will accept the alien into that country.'.
(b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to any deportation, exclusion, or removal on or after such date pursuant to any deportation, exclusion, or removal order, regardless of whether such order is administratively final before, on, or after such date.