For Immediate Release
March 29, 2023
Arianna Rosales, email@example.com
Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Greg Casar (TX-35) reintroduced the New Way Forward Act, a crucial piece of legislation that is a blueprint for beginning to write racism out of our immigration laws.
The New Way Forward Act, which is supported by a coalition of more than 300 immigrant, civil rights, and criminal justice reform organizations, takes key steps to disentangle the immigration system from the criminal legal system by rolling back harmful immigration laws that have led to racial profiling and resulted in the incarceration, deportation, and destruction of families and immigrant communities.
Many of the most deep-seated problems in our immigration system require legislative solutions in order to be addressed long-term. And this legislation is now more urgent than ever: Over the past two years, the Biden Administration has reverted to several inhumane Trump-era policies, increased the number of people held in immigration detention, and has failed to do enough to put an end to unlawful and xenophobic programs like Texas's Operation Lone Star. Congress must pass the New Way Forward Act to end the pipeline from criminalization to deportation and to restore values of humanity and compassion to immigration.
Said Sirine Shebaya, Executive Director of the National Immigration Project:
"The New Way Forward Act is a critical step towards addressing some of the deep-rooted inequities in our immigration system that have harmed communities and deprived so many people of their rights for decades. The National Immigration Project is proud to stand alongside leaders in Congress and allies across the nation as we fight to create an immigration system that is rooted in our fundamental principles of compassion and justice."
Among other provisions, the New Way Forward Act would:
- Limit the criminal legal system to deportation pipeline
- End mandatory detention and for-profit detention
- End entanglement between federal immigration enforcement and local law enforcement
- End overtly racist laws, used to implement the cruel family separation policy, that funnel migrants into federal criminal legal system
- Provide people who have been deported the opportunity to apply to return home
- Restore due process protections and judicial discretion, so that immigration judges are no longer forced to deport people automatically without considering individual circumstances
- Implement a five-year statute of limitations for removal, so community members can move forward with their lives without fear that an old sentence could lead to deportation years later
- Create a community-based support program outside of ICE to provide immigrants with access to social services, medical and mental health services, and other critical resources
The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) is a national non-profit organization that provides technical assistance and support to community-based immigrant organizations, legal practitioners, and all advocates seeking and working to advance the rights of noncitizens. NIPNLG utilizes impact litigation, advocacy, and public education to pursue its mission. Learn more at nipnlg.org. Follow NIPNLG on social media: National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild on Facebook, @NIPNLG on Twitter and Instagram.