America’s Voice today praised the introduction of the “New Way Forward Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives, legislation to address and reform a range of injustices caused by current immigration law and policy. The new legislation was introduced today by Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), along with Karen Bass (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and 30 Members of Congress.
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
We thank the co-sponsors for their leadership in introducing this visionary legislation and for their ongoing effort to fight for an America that welcomes and better integrates our immigrant friends, family and neighbors.
Many of the laws governing criminalization, deportation, and detention have been in the books for decades, but have been weaponized by the Trump administration as part of their ongoing efforts to kick out and keep out immigrants and refugees from America. This bill is a thoughtful effort to reform some of the cruel excesses of our current enforcement, detention, and deportation system.
The legislation includes such measures as improving access to due process, ending mandatory immigration detention, separating local policing from immigration enforcement, and addressing the ways that our current system perpetuates the racial inequities we see in the criminal justice system, such as the disproportionate targeting of black and brown immigrants for removal. Indiscriminate detention and deportation not only impacts the affected individual, but separates families and destabilizes entire communities.
As we’ve seen in detail in recent high-profile tragedies, mandatory immigration detention and arbitrary and excessive punishment against immigrants and asylum seekers leads directly to unnecessary death and incalculable trauma.
The “New Way Forward Act” represents a sensible, humane and ultimately beneficial approach, one that advances both America’s values and interests.