I am submitting this letter in opposition to House Resolution 28. I oppose the transfer of the lands to the Pechanga Band based on the Pechanga Band's actions to deprive and deny individuals of their human and civil rights. No entity that participates in, supports, or otherwise partakes in human and/or civil rights violations should benefit from the public trust.
The actions taken by the Pechanga Band mirror those described in Congress during hearings on the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 in which it was stated that "..a tribe may deprive its members of property and liberty without due process of law and not come under the limitations applicable to federal and state governments as stated in the Bill of Rights" (Chairman Ervin, Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights).
A main purpose of the ICRA was to "… protect individual Indians from arbitrary and unjust actions of tribal governments." The ICRA was also intended to address the very types of human and civil rights violations that are currently occurring in Indian Country- violations like those committed by the Pechanga Band- and to secure for the individual American Indian the broad constitutional rights afforded all other American citizens.
However, Pechanga Tribal officials have hid behind the Tribe's sovereignty to escape prosecution and prevent the victims of their actions from seeking recourse for the injury and harm resulting from the human and civil rights violations. Although the tribal officials may be immune from suit, this does not equate to innocence of action.
In light of the human and civil rights violations committed by the Pechanga Band, I must oppose House Resolution 28, and I ask that Congress initiate a thorough investigation of the Pechanga Band's human and civil rights violations.
Rep. Mike Thompson asked for an oversight hearing last year into this issue. We must continue to press for that with Rep. Darrell Issa, who was hoodwinked in the last land transfer..