One of the lesser-known bits in the nefarious "fast-track" deal was the part preventing our government from "fast-tracking" "free" trade deals with the worst human trafficking violators among nations. But it just so happens one of the potential signatories of the Trans-Pacific "Partnership," Malaysia, is a nation the State Department's Trafficking in Persons report puts in Tier 3, reserved for the worst offenders. But President Obama is seriously mulling bumping Malaysia down to Tier 2, just to get the TPP done -- when Malaysia has shown literally no interest in controlling its slave trade. Are we a civilized nation, or are we not? Do we shun evil only when it's convenient, or do we shun evil whenever duty calls? If you know the answers to these questions, then NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, helps you tell your President and your Congressfolk to uphold our values as civilized people and reject any shenanigans with the TIP report. If a human rights issue winds up scuttling the TPP, people might start thinking that doing the right thing actually makes it easier to keep doing the right thing.
Meanwhile, Reps. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Scott (D-VA) have introduced H.R. 2944, the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective Justice Act, a.k.a. the SAFE Justice Act; a fairly massive and ambitious bill, it would prevent politicians from applying mandatory minimums to anyone but drug kingpins and crime organizers at the highest level, which is always how it should have been. H.R. 2944 would also give judges more flexibility to sentence criminals below the mandatory minimums for drug and gun possession crimes, and allows judges to take drug addiction and/or mental illness into account when sentencing for those crimes. And H.R. 2944 would make these reforms retroactive, meaning folks already in prison who fit the criteria could get some mercy, which would in turn reduce overcrowding in prisons and cut the cost to the taxpayer. It will also necessarily deplete the bank accounts of private prison corporation CEOs, but hey, everyone has to make sacrifices for progress. So Families Against Mandatory Minimums helps you tell your House Rep to support H.R. 2944, and thus support a wiser criminal justice system.