WASHINGTON, D.C. January 26, 2021 – Today, Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Karen Bass (CA-37), and 35 Members of Congress, alongside more than 300 advocacy organizations and community representatives, introduced the New Way Forward Act, a landmark piece of legislation to address injustice and structural racism in the U.S. immigration system.
The New Way Forward Act rolls back harmful immigration laws that result in racial profiling, disproportionate incarceration, deportation, and separation of immigrant families and communities of color. This legislation will alsorestore fundamental principles of due process and compassion to our immigration system.
“The New Way Forward Act gives us a historic opportunity to end the criminalization of desperation and end the scourge of family separation. At this moment of reckoning with our nation’s racist history, we must ensure Latino, Black, and AAPI communities, including immigrant families, are no longer criminalized for seeking a better future,” said Congressman García. “Too many families in Chicago and across our country are ripped apart by racist, anti-immigrant laws used to justify deportation and mass incarceration. It’s time we reimagine an immigration system guided by justice and compassion, restore the fundamental principles of due process to keep families together, and dismantle the prison to deportation pipeline. It’s time we chart a New Way Forward so that all immigrants are treated with the full dignity and respect we all deserve.”
“As America begins a new presidential administration, we need to finally leave our country’s long history of criminalizing immigration and separating families behind,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “As one of only 14 naturalized citizens in Congress, I am proud to co-lead the New Way Forward Act as an urgent effort to restore due process to immigrants, end detention without bail, separate policing from immigration enforcement and outright repeal laws that make migration a crime. New Americans not only deserve to live with dignity and without fear, but they also deserve the same rights as native-born Americans so they have the opportunity to make their own American dream a reality.”
“This moment demands bold, systemic change to undo the hurt and harm of the decades of policy violence that has been inflicted on our communities—particularly Black, Latinx, and AAPI communities—and our immigration laws are no exception,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “For too long, our immigration and criminal legal systems have been deeply and fundamentally intertwined—and have contributed to our nation’s mass incarceration crisis that has separated families and destroyed communities for generations. I am committed to dismantling systemic racism and policies that criminalize Black and brown communities, and I am proud to partner with my colleagues to reintroduce our bill that will ensure that compassion, dignity, fairness and due process are the key focus of our immigration laws and set us on a pathway toward an immigration system that centers the humanity of our immigrant neighbors.”
Representatives García, Pressley, and Jayapal joined advocacy organizations and formerly detained immigrants in a virtual press conference earlier today to discuss this legislation.
A copy of the New Way Forward Act can be found here.
You can find more background on the bill here.
Additionally, you can find a section-by section document of the bill here.