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A path toward an immigration system based in dignity and racial justice

Across the country, community members who have been hurt by detention and deportation are organizing to repair the harm caused by unjust immigration laws of the past. Anti-immigrant laws passed in 1996 drove the mass detention and deportation experienced by Black and Brown immigrants today.

To secure the full human rights of all members of our communities, we need a new way forward for immigrant justice — one that ends senseless divisions of “good versus bad” immigrants and recognizes that all communities deserve dignity, restoration, and repair.

The New Way Forward Act advances the following key principles toward dismantling these outdated, racist laws and an immigration enforcement legal system that hurts our communities:

  • End mandatory immigration detention — a necessary step towards ending mass incarceration of communities of color, including immigrants.
  • End laws that create automatic pipelines to deportation through the criminal legal system by removing distorted legal labels in federal immigration laws.
  • End automatic deportation and summary proceedings for people who have had contact with the criminal legal system.
  • End the practices of local police engaging in immigration enforcement which result in increased over-policing of communities of color.
  • Decriminalize migration by repealing criminal prosecution for unlawful entry and reentry into the U.S.
  • Create a process for people previously ordered deported to apply to come home.

Read more: Full bill text | Backgrounder | Section-by-section summary


Robert's Story: Punished Again and Again

“Our legal system has something called 'double jeopardy,' where you can’t be punished twice for the same crime. Because I am an immigrant, I’m being punished again and again. Our current laws continue to punish individuals – like me -- even after we complete our sentences. There are other people like me, still stuck in the system and facing the same situation of a double injustice. We should be able to rejoin our families and communities."

Listen to Robert's testimony on the need for a New Way Forward: