A new federal law will hopefully ensure that diplomatic immunity doesn’t turn in to diplomatic impunity, according to Ambassador-at-large Mark Lagon, director of the office to monitor and combat human trafficking at the State Department. The law attempts to crack down on foreign diplomats who bring workers into the United States and then treat them as slaves.

According to the DC Examiner,

The human trafficking bill gathered congressional support after the Government Accountability Office released a report in July citing 42 cases in which diplomats, most of whom live in the Washington area and New York City, abused their household workers. There are likely many more cases, the report said, but they remain unknown to law enforcement because workers often fear U.S. authorities and the power of their employers.

The report cited gaps in the State Department’s review of the visas given to diplomats’ household staff and noted a failure to track the workers once they’re in the U.S. The lack of oversight, the report said, makes it easy for diplomats to hide behind their immunity as they underpay, mistreat and enslave their employees.

But the new law requires a tracking system be put in place and greater cooperation between the departments of State and Justice. New visa review standards will be implemented, including a requirement that officials who give out the visas meet with workers to inform them of their rights.

Diplomatic immunity has long been a problem for many of us in this area. Too many people are granted immunity and many who have it take advantage of this extension of international ‘good will’ by refusing to take responsibility for their actions and for thumbing their nose at our laws. Countries who have violations in human trafficking will risk having visas revoked. The law will go into effect sometime after the Inauguration. The fact that a human trafficking bill is even necessary speaks ill of the world.

We are almost 10 years into the 21st century. Why should this even be necessary? What is wrong with some of these countries? Does the rest of the world feel human trafficking is an acceptable behavior? Pathetic.

Further reading

11 Thoughts to “No Diplomatic Impunity”

  1. michael

    Excellant research Moonhowler!

    I have as always tried to remind everyone that ANY worker in the US that cannot be tracked, verified as “legal” and held accountable to law, and their employer held accountable to the law that protects everyone the same, creates and promotes the very conditions for abuse, poverty and criminal behavior we ALL agree we do not want to endure in our nation. It is a simple matter to give every “legal” person in the US a national ID, that verifies their right to be in the US, and the conditions upon which they are allowed to remain. This includes “guest workers”, who we all know, when encouraged to be “illegal” are and always will be exploited by their employers. This is what happened to my wife when she was “illegal” and why I am so determined to fight those of you (not you personally MH) who think that any form of “illegal” is acceptable in our country. EVERYONE who is “illegal” is being harmed by ANYONE who can exploit their fears, and their poverty, and by exploitation of low income living conditions, substandard work environment, and below minimum wage theft, creating a huge lack of all forms of security and decency for these people, causing even conditions of serfdom and slavery which are ALWAYS possible when “illegals” are allowed to remain in the country, and their employers and they are NOT ACCOUNTABLE to US law, which is DESIGNED to protect ALL “legal” people under US LAW the same. The law cannot and was not designed to protect “illegal” people, because “illegal” people operate under criminal, lawbreaking conditions, that already break the law and have no fear of abiding by law, or being caught by law enforcement. It is only law enforcement and a fear of being caught by law enforcement that prevent criminal abuse, and crime caused by both “illegals” and employers of “illegals”. Employers of “legals” have a much more difficult time skirting the protective laws designed to protect individual rights regardless of race, gender, religion or ethnicity. “legals” also have a much more difficult time of skirting the law that protects ALL innocents from the effects of “illegal” behaviors and crimes or lawlessness perpetrated by “illegal” immigrants.

    As you pointed out, diplomatic immunity is a loop-hole in accountability to the law, and because of this, even “legal” workers can and are exploited as easily and in the same manner as “illegal” immigrants. To stop such abuse the law must track “legals” and ensure all “illegals” are deported and held accountable to law, and thier employers are punished and held accountable to law and law enforcement. I personally believe all diplomatic immunity should be outlawed, and for government to come clean on a standard of law enforcement for all, regardless of nationality. You can blame this diplomatic immunity problem and its encouragement on “international spying”.

  2. michael

    Human trafficking, rape, prostitution, drugs, and slavery are a direct result of POVERTY in all nations that have POVERTY. Impoverished nations rarely have laws that protect individuals from oppression, rarely have democracies (which is also why they have poverty, because they are run by dictators and autocracies, never giving power to the people to self govern), and it is a FACT that poverty, prevents effevtive law enforcement, because criminals who have no fear of law enforcement, are prolific in “impoverished neighborhoods”, simply because people are so desperate to make money any way they can, and will turn to crime and criminal behaviors to do so. Once they do that, human traffiking is as easy to do as joining a GANG, that will KILL anyone who opposes gang leadership and gang rituals.

    It is a direct fact that “illegal immigrants” lead to increased poverty, because they come into the country in huge numbers of impoverished people, cause the population (just like in inner cities), to become far greater than the number of jobs available, and when the population is far greater than the number of jobs available, communities DECLINE into inner city-like POVERTY, then turn to GANGS and CRIME as a means to make money, regardless of the national, community or city laws.

    The ONLY WAY to prevent this is to control the numbers of “legal” immigrants carefully to prevent populations in cities from exceeding the number of available jobs. If a nation and city can do this, employers will become desperate to find enough people with the skills they need to continue to do business, cannot exploit workers, and MUST pay living wages to remain in business. THESE communities have people who are then able to live ABOVE poverty conditions, drive nice cars and live in neighborhoods where they have enough income to buy and take care of personal homes. THIS is the essence of “wealth creation” and “high standard of living”, with MINIMAL POVERTY and MINIMAL CRIME.

    Do those of you who support “illegal” immigration, not want a wealthy and high standard of living community for poor people to become “wealthier”?

  3. michael

    Montgomery County is now learning this the hard way, just like Prince William had to learn the hard way, what the effects of “illegal” immigration are.

  4. michael

    If you want to protect the rights of “illegal immigrants” from exploitation and poverty you have to make sure they only come into the country as “legal” immigrants, and that the nations holds to reasonable quotas, and ensures immigration laws are enforced, with quotas based on the number of jobs available in a community that can absorb more “legal” immigrants. In inner cities already impoverished, “illegal” immigrants put the entire population “over the edge” in terms of wealth seeking and job availability, causing them to “decline” rather than “improve”.

  5. Moon-howler

    I cannot see any advantage to diplomatic immunity other than to be some sort of safeguard for our people overseas. I think it gives foreigners a ‘license to steal’ much of the time. What am I missing here folks?

    Michael, I agree with you that illegal immigrants, regardless of origin, leave themselves open to much abuse. No argument from me. That is why I think we need to overhaul immigration law.

  6. michael

    Moonhowler, I have an “interesting” answer to your question 9 Jan, Mid-east conflict thread. There are many things like this where people can’t tell the difference between fact and fantasy, and usually choose fantasy, as a means to understand the world.

  7. michael

    I agree. They have a license to steal. Only “people” who call their congressmen and put presure on them in large numbers can change LAW, to be what it should be. Without that “senators, congressmen, diplomats and Presidents will “Abuse” the law, and think no one else is looking, and with their political power feel they will not get caught.

    Only the people with rights to self govern (i.e Democracy), can put this kind of power and need for ethics back into their own hands.

    Did not a “condeming” report recently released lament about the sifnigicant loss of ethics in government, as an “epidemic” or disease of criminal behavior among elected and appointed politicians?

  8. michael

    By overhauling “immigration” law, I assume you mean ensuring we have “legal” quotas that are enforced by law, rather than ignored by law, and maintaining a “legal” path to work visa, student visa and travel visa LAWs we already have, but have not “enforced”?

    Or do you like others forget we have such laws already that “allow” quotas and “allow” “legal” immigration, and rinstead want “immigration reform to be a code word for “make “legal” all the “minority” of people who are here “illegally” regardless of the negative impact that will have on the “majority” of innocent “legal” people, and yet again encouraging even more “illegal” immigrants to break the law in the future.

  9. michael

    Not enforceing “existing” immigration law, gives “illegal” immigrants a “license to steal” from the majority of “legal” residents. So why would you sympathize with one concept and not the other, if my assumption of what you mean by “immigration reform” means “make illegal people legal using a pen” IF (not saying you do) you like many others here choose to believe this concept is a better solution than enforcing “immigration law”.

  10. Moon-howler

    Most of our immigration are twenty to twenty five years old. I do not believe they are reflective of our country’s needs. Additionally, laws are enforced willy nilly–however the current administration chooses.

    I don’t think anyone here wants to just pat 15 million people on the head and say ok now. I think most people here want to see a solution for people to come here if they meet certain criteria.

  11. michael

    I entirely agree with you moonhowler.

Comments are closed.