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'Obscene' Foreign Policy

6:23 PM, Aug 4, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The White House earlier today sent out an email that assured Americans that it will not let America "become a safe haven for human rights violators or those responsible for other atrocities." 

Closing gaps.  The United States has long sought to ensure that our country does not become a safe haven for human rights violators or those responsible for other atrocities.  Existing U.S. law renders certain human rights violators inadmissible to the United States – such as participants in genocide, torture, extra-judicial killings, or certain violations of religious freedom.  However, before today, the United States did not have an explicit bar to admission on the basis of participation in serious violations of human rights or humanitarian law or other atrocities that do not otherwise fit into those categories specifically enumerated in the Immigration and Nationality Act.  This proclamation fills this gap by expanding the grounds for denial of entry into the United States to cover a broader array of recognized violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity.  The proclamation will also cover participants in serious human rights violations, such as prolonged arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, slavery, and forced labor, as well as participants in widespread or systematic violence against civilians based on ethnicity or other grounds. 

As a friend comments, "While Syria crushes its dissidents with tanks, al Shabaab prevents dying Somalis from fleeing drought-stricken areas, Qaddafi continues to kill his own people, war rages in Yemen...  And we're getting ready to gut the defense budget.  But it's ok--we won't let Assad into the country when he asks. There's something almost obscene about this."

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