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senate Bill S. 1781

Should the U.S. Sign Bilateral Agreements with Northern Triangle Countries to Address Violence Within their Borders?

Argument in favor

Violence against women and girls in the Northern Triangle is a major driver of migration out of the region, which is contributing to the refugee crisis at the U.S. Suthern border. Addressing this issue benefits both the U.S. and Northern Triangle countries by making them safer, reducing pressure for women and children to make a dangerous journey north to the U.S. and stabilizing the region.

Mark 's Opinion
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07/03/2019
I really wanna say yes...but does anyone trust THAT MORON IN THE WHITE HOUSE???
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Lionman's Opinion
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07/03/2019
If you think we should just stay out of their business, then we should just recall the Secretary of State and have him stay home and sit on his hands. Of course we should try to help them resolve these violence issues. I dare say that many of them have a US Corporation or US OGA activity. We may well have started some of this in various Banana Republics. The alternative would be for us to just try to deal with increasing numbers at our borders. Going to the source would be a conservative-based idea.
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David's Opinion
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07/03/2019
Making their communities safer gives them less reason to illegally cross our border and add to the existing crisis. Solve two problems with one measure.
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Argument opposed

There are already numerous programs through both the U.S. federal government and international institutions in place to address violence against women and girls around the world. There’s no need — or good justification — for the Secretary of State to enter into specific compacts with Northern Triangle countries to address their domestic challenges.

burrkitty's Opinion
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07/03/2019
Poison pill bill. Contradictory and designed to be impossible to fulfill. Dozens of requirements and no metric by which to judge progress. What is “sufficient progress”? The money is appropriated to and then specifically denied giving it to the recipient countries. It makes no sense. Read the text, especially section 4. II 116th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1781 IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES June 11, 2019 Mr. Rubio (for himself, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Young, and Mr. Kaine) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations A BILL To authorize appropriations for the Department of State for fiscal years 2020 through 2022 to provide assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras through bilateral compacts to increase protection of women and children in their homes and communities and reduce female homicides, domestic violence, and sexual assault. 1.Short title This Act may be cited as the Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2019. 2.Findings Congress makes the following findings: (1)The Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have among the highest homicide rates in the world. In 2017, there were 60 homicides per 100,000 people in El Salvador, 43.6 homicides per 100,000 people in Honduras, and 26.1 homicides per 100,000 people in Guatemala. (2)Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are characterized by a high prevalence of drug- and gang-related violence, murder, and crimes involving sexual- and gender-based violence. The region also has high rates of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. (3)Central America ranks high among regions of the world for female homicides. A combined 801 women were victims of homicide in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala in 2017 alone, according to the United Nations Office of Drug Control and Crime. (4)El Salvador and Honduras are both among the top 3 countries in the world with the highest child homicides rates, with more than 22 and 32 deaths per 100,000 children respectively, according to the nongovernmental organization Save the Children. (5)Thousands of women, children, and families are fleeing unsafe homes and communities each month in these countries due to surging violence. (6)Violent crimes against women and children are substantially under-reported because the majority of victims lack safe access to protection and justice. (7)Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador governments allow impunity for perpetrators of violence against women and children, with less than 10 percent of reported cases resulting in conviction. (8)According to a study conducted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, childhood experiences with domestic violence in Latin America are a major risk factor for future criminal behavior. Fifty-six percent of incarcerated women and 59 percent of incarcerated men surveyed experienced intra-familial violence during childhood. 3.Women and children protection Compacts (a)Authorization To enter into compacts The Secretary of State is authorized to enter into bilateral agreements with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (in this Act referred to as Compact Countries) to be known as Women and Children Protection Compacts (in this Act referred to as Compacts), for the purposes of— (1)strengthening the Compact Countries’ criminal justice systems and civil protection courts to protect women and children and serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and neglect and hold perpetrators accountable; (2)securing, creating, and sustaining safe communities, building on current place-based approaches to prevent and deter violence against women and children; (3)ensuring schools are safe and promoting the prevention and early detection of gender-based and domestic abuse within communities in the Compact Countries; and (4)providing security within the region to families and unaccompanied children fleeing domestic, gang, or drug violence. (b)Components of Compact A Compact shall establish a 3- to 6-year plan for achieving shared objectives articulated in Compacts, in furtherance of the purposes of this Act, and shall include— (1)identification of areas of highest incidence of violence against women and children; (2)evaluation of women and child victims’ access to protection and justice; (3)evaluation of justice system capacity to respond to reports of femicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect and to hold perpetrators accountable; (4)identification of measurable goals to protect women and children to deter crimes against them that the Compact commits to achieve during the term of the Compact; (5)indicators to monitor and measure progress toward achieving these objectives, including reductions in prevalence of femicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect; and (6)provisions to ensure funds provided under the Compact may be fully accounted for with an adequate audit trail. 4.Authorization of assistance (a)Assistance The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development are authorized to provide assistance to assist the Government of El Salvador, the Government of Guatemala, or the Government of Honduras if the country enters into a Compact. (b)Prohibition of direct assistance No funds provided pursuant to this Act shall be provided directly to the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. (c)Authorization of appropriations There is authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020, 2021, and 2022 to carry out this Act. (d)Suspension of assistance (1)In general The Secretary may suspend or terminate assistance authorized by this Act to any of the three countries if the Secretary determines that— (A)the country’s government is engaged in activities that are contrary to the national security interests of the United States; (B)the country or recipient entity has engaged in a pattern of actions inconsistent with the criteria used to determine the eligibility of the country or entity, as the case may be; or (C)the country or recipient entity has failed to make sufficient progress to meet the goals of the Compact. (2)Reinstatement The Secretary may reinstate assistance for a country or entity suspended or terminated under this paragraph only if the Secretary certifies to Congress that the country or entity has taken steps to correcting each condition for which assistance was suspended or terminated under paragraph (1). 5.Compact progress reports and briefing (a)In general The Secretary of State shall submit to Congress not later than September 30 of each fiscal year covered by the authorization a joint report that contains a detailed description of the implementation of the Compacts during the prior year. (b)Contents The report under subsection (a) for fiscal year 2022 shall include— (1)information on the overall rates of gender-based violence in the Northern Triangle countries, including by using victimization surveys, regardless of whether or not these acts of violence are reported to government authorities; (2)information on incidences of gender-based violence cases reported to the authorities in the Northern Triangle countries and the percentage of perpetrators investigated, apprehended, prosecuted, and convicted; (3)information on the capacity and resource allocation of child welfare systems in each Northern Triangle country to protect unaccompanied children, including runaways and refugee returnees in Northern Triangle countries; (4)the percentage of reported violence against women and children cases reaching conviction; (5)a baseline and percentage changes in women and children victims receiving legal and social services; (6)a baseline and percentage changes in school retention rates; (7)a baseline and changes in capacity of police, prosecution service, and courts to combat violence against women and children; and (8)independent external evaluation of funded programs, including compliance with terms of the Compacts by all parties. (c)Briefing Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall provide the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a briefing on the data and information collected pursuant to this section and the steps taken to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and neglect.
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JTJ's Opinion
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07/04/2019
We’ve been giving these corrupt governments help for years. We need to cut off all foreign aid and close the border.
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07/03/2019
I don’t believe trump would do this to solve the issue....trump likes to create chaos and destruction and invent enemies....to keep voters agitated and angry..... What we need, Senator Rubio, is trump and trump’s corrupt criminal regime out of our government. Then we might have a chance to address this sensibly.
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    I really wanna say yes...but does anyone trust THAT MORON IN THE WHITE HOUSE???
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    Poison pill bill. Contradictory and designed to be impossible to fulfill. Dozens of requirements and no metric by which to judge progress. What is “sufficient progress”? The money is appropriated to and then specifically denied giving it to the recipient countries. It makes no sense. Read the text, especially section 4. II 116th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1781 IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES June 11, 2019 Mr. Rubio (for himself, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Young, and Mr. Kaine) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations A BILL To authorize appropriations for the Department of State for fiscal years 2020 through 2022 to provide assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras through bilateral compacts to increase protection of women and children in their homes and communities and reduce female homicides, domestic violence, and sexual assault. 1.Short title This Act may be cited as the Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2019. 2.Findings Congress makes the following findings: (1)The Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have among the highest homicide rates in the world. In 2017, there were 60 homicides per 100,000 people in El Salvador, 43.6 homicides per 100,000 people in Honduras, and 26.1 homicides per 100,000 people in Guatemala. (2)Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are characterized by a high prevalence of drug- and gang-related violence, murder, and crimes involving sexual- and gender-based violence. The region also has high rates of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. (3)Central America ranks high among regions of the world for female homicides. A combined 801 women were victims of homicide in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala in 2017 alone, according to the United Nations Office of Drug Control and Crime. (4)El Salvador and Honduras are both among the top 3 countries in the world with the highest child homicides rates, with more than 22 and 32 deaths per 100,000 children respectively, according to the nongovernmental organization Save the Children. (5)Thousands of women, children, and families are fleeing unsafe homes and communities each month in these countries due to surging violence. (6)Violent crimes against women and children are substantially under-reported because the majority of victims lack safe access to protection and justice. (7)Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador governments allow impunity for perpetrators of violence against women and children, with less than 10 percent of reported cases resulting in conviction. (8)According to a study conducted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, childhood experiences with domestic violence in Latin America are a major risk factor for future criminal behavior. Fifty-six percent of incarcerated women and 59 percent of incarcerated men surveyed experienced intra-familial violence during childhood. 3.Women and children protection Compacts (a)Authorization To enter into compacts The Secretary of State is authorized to enter into bilateral agreements with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (in this Act referred to as Compact Countries) to be known as Women and Children Protection Compacts (in this Act referred to as Compacts), for the purposes of— (1)strengthening the Compact Countries’ criminal justice systems and civil protection courts to protect women and children and serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and neglect and hold perpetrators accountable; (2)securing, creating, and sustaining safe communities, building on current place-based approaches to prevent and deter violence against women and children; (3)ensuring schools are safe and promoting the prevention and early detection of gender-based and domestic abuse within communities in the Compact Countries; and (4)providing security within the region to families and unaccompanied children fleeing domestic, gang, or drug violence. (b)Components of Compact A Compact shall establish a 3- to 6-year plan for achieving shared objectives articulated in Compacts, in furtherance of the purposes of this Act, and shall include— (1)identification of areas of highest incidence of violence against women and children; (2)evaluation of women and child victims’ access to protection and justice; (3)evaluation of justice system capacity to respond to reports of femicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect and to hold perpetrators accountable; (4)identification of measurable goals to protect women and children to deter crimes against them that the Compact commits to achieve during the term of the Compact; (5)indicators to monitor and measure progress toward achieving these objectives, including reductions in prevalence of femicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect; and (6)provisions to ensure funds provided under the Compact may be fully accounted for with an adequate audit trail. 4.Authorization of assistance (a)Assistance The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development are authorized to provide assistance to assist the Government of El Salvador, the Government of Guatemala, or the Government of Honduras if the country enters into a Compact. (b)Prohibition of direct assistance No funds provided pursuant to this Act shall be provided directly to the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. (c)Authorization of appropriations There is authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020, 2021, and 2022 to carry out this Act. (d)Suspension of assistance (1)In general The Secretary may suspend or terminate assistance authorized by this Act to any of the three countries if the Secretary determines that— (A)the country’s government is engaged in activities that are contrary to the national security interests of the United States; (B)the country or recipient entity has engaged in a pattern of actions inconsistent with the criteria used to determine the eligibility of the country or entity, as the case may be; or (C)the country or recipient entity has failed to make sufficient progress to meet the goals of the Compact. (2)Reinstatement The Secretary may reinstate assistance for a country or entity suspended or terminated under this paragraph only if the Secretary certifies to Congress that the country or entity has taken steps to correcting each condition for which assistance was suspended or terminated under paragraph (1). 5.Compact progress reports and briefing (a)In general The Secretary of State shall submit to Congress not later than September 30 of each fiscal year covered by the authorization a joint report that contains a detailed description of the implementation of the Compacts during the prior year. (b)Contents The report under subsection (a) for fiscal year 2022 shall include— (1)information on the overall rates of gender-based violence in the Northern Triangle countries, including by using victimization surveys, regardless of whether or not these acts of violence are reported to government authorities; (2)information on incidences of gender-based violence cases reported to the authorities in the Northern Triangle countries and the percentage of perpetrators investigated, apprehended, prosecuted, and convicted; (3)information on the capacity and resource allocation of child welfare systems in each Northern Triangle country to protect unaccompanied children, including runaways and refugee returnees in Northern Triangle countries; (4)the percentage of reported violence against women and children cases reaching conviction; (5)a baseline and percentage changes in women and children victims receiving legal and social services; (6)a baseline and percentage changes in school retention rates; (7)a baseline and changes in capacity of police, prosecution service, and courts to combat violence against women and children; and (8)independent external evaluation of funded programs, including compliance with terms of the Compacts by all parties. (c)Briefing Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall provide the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a briefing on the data and information collected pursuant to this section and the steps taken to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and neglect.
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    If you think we should just stay out of their business, then we should just recall the Secretary of State and have him stay home and sit on his hands. Of course we should try to help them resolve these violence issues. I dare say that many of them have a US Corporation or US OGA activity. We may well have started some of this in various Banana Republics. The alternative would be for us to just try to deal with increasing numbers at our borders. Going to the source would be a conservative-based idea.
    Like (38)
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    We’ve been giving these corrupt governments help for years. We need to cut off all foreign aid and close the border.
    Like (22)
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    Making their communities safer gives them less reason to illegally cross our border and add to the existing crisis. Solve two problems with one measure.
    Like (19)
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    I don’t believe trump would do this to solve the issue....trump likes to create chaos and destruction and invent enemies....to keep voters agitated and angry..... What we need, Senator Rubio, is trump and trump’s corrupt criminal regime out of our government. Then we might have a chance to address this sensibly.
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    Instead of poking our nose in the Middle East (Iran) where Trumpf helped to create a problem by leaving the Iran nuclear agreement, we perhaps should try to intercede in these countries where most of the migrants are escaping because of the violence, poverty, etc.
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    Only to fight drugs nothing more, anything more is interfering with internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Police our own backyard first. #AmericaFirst #MAGA
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    Bill S.1781 AKA “Central American Women and Children Protection Act” I’m in support of and recommend the passage of the Senate Bill S.1781 AKA the “Central American Women and Children Protection Act of 2019” which would authorize the State Dept. to enter into bilateral agreements called Women and Children Protection Compacts with Northern Triangle countries’ governments (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) aimed at strengthening those nations’ justice systems and make communities safer. A breakdown of its provisions can be found below. Violence against women and girls in the Northern Triangle is a major driver of migration out of the region, which is contributing to the refugee crisis at the U.S. Suthern border. Addressing this issue benefits both the U.S. and Northern Triangle countries by making them safer, reducing pressure for women and children to make a dangerous journey north to the U.S. and stabilizing the region. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻S.1781👍🏻👍🏻. 7.3.19.....
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    With bilateral agreements to send illegal immigrants back to their country of origin. Also to identify the true parents of children to help ensure against human trafficking.
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    I have little trust that our current government will do anything to help.
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    Finally, a positive approach to the problem at the border
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    The violence and poverty of the Northern Triangle countries is largely a result of U.S. foreign and economic policy toward those countries. This bill, as written, is a setup for failure and will likely have a result of reinforcing Trump’s policies rather than helping the women and children Rubio states it will.
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    While most would want to help these people, this recommendation does not solve the core problem. The governments of these countries need to take responsibility for their own. Aid of this nature from the US is not new and has not been successful. Need to come up with a new approach.
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    I'm not sure how much this will help, but the US needs to do all we can to help these Northern Triangle countries shore up protections for the women and children so desperate for a better life that they might try to make the dangerous journey here. This will go more towards fixing the root cause of some of our immigration problems than just refusing to engage with these countries and punishing Mexico. Let's try to work with these countries to solve their problems and stabilize the situation for vulnerable people living there..
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    For a few reasons. One..it is the right thing to do to protect women and children and men who are in danger, and two....if you help them in their own countries they are less likely to come to the U.S.. Though, they should be allowed to come to the U.S. and get asylum if they want to.
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    This proposal bill is an absolute “MUST” effort in my opinion since while I am vehemently opposed to how immigrants are treated at the border and I believe everyone should be given a chance to add their value to our nation and social fabric, I also believe that every person deserves the right to be born, grow up, and thrive in the land of their origins. I also believe that most folks would remain in their place of origin if their homeland was safe and rife with opportunity (isn’t that a “duh” idea?). Therefore, if we can help this prospect to be realized, then consider that it would not only improve a region and a people, but it might also allay the haters and xenophobes in this nation who are bent on damning our own politics, laws, traditions, and principles as a result of their insecurities, their fears, their greed, and their bigotry (conditions that have been, in part, brought on as a result of immigration in this country, among other conditions). Hence, if through this effort we can also bring down the current fever temperature of ignorant folk in this nation, then perhaps this kind of hostility shall too die out and, hopefully, fade in time from our society altogether. Who knows, if troubles elsewhere are brought down, then it might also bring us back a Republican Party that might be worth considering politically (rather than remaining what they have become in part because of this xenophobia — a party that causes dread, pain, and shame). UPDATE: I supported an argument against this bill in agreement with what this feed’s topmost contributor, burrkitty, had to say with respect to working with these governments and allowing them to manage funds (rather than barring them direct access to this money). I believe that these governments should have access to these funds, though through a joint board made up of members from both governing bodies to ensure appropriate expenditure of said funds. However, I’m in disagreement with one of burrkitty’s points; i.e., that success cannot be determined. I think it can, in fact, be assessed easily; if we see a slow down of immigrants and murder rates in these countries... it is working! Understand that if it were as simple as turning ON the money-spigot and then watching back as all woes are healed overnight..., we’ll, we would certainly be living in utopia! The reality is that will be a long, costly, and grueling task whether we agree that such a bill should pass or whether it ultimately fails! The difference will be time spent getting there through assistance versus simply enduring the inevitable influx of immigrants as conditions in the planet worsen year-to-year. With the former we are at least trying, whereas with the latter... we are just part of the problem.
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    I don’t like joining multinational treaties. We get stuck with the costs and policing them. Let’s fix home first.
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    Just another useless State Department farce that offers the *appearance* of action while accomplishing NOTHING.
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    I do think we should provide aid to these countries, I don’t support Rubio in any way. There is a trick embedded in this bill that we can’t understand just yet. I don’t trust him to do right for the sake of doing right.
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