Washington, DC – Yesterday, Tucker Carlson aired a 14 minute segment on the New Way Forward Act, a groundbreaking piece of federal legislation which challenges racial profiling and mass incarceration in the immigration system. To instill fear about the visionary measure, the host spewed a false, harmful, and racist narrative about our immigrant neighbors.
The following is a statement from Oliver Merino, Coordinator of the Immigrant Justice Network, which is a partnership of the Immigrant Defense Project, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Just Futures Law, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG):
Let’s be clear: Carlson, like Trump, is trying to use racist fearmongering to distract and divide us.
The New Way Forward Act is a groundbreaking step towards transforming our unjust immigration system because it gets to the root of the issue. We need to significantly rethink the way we address immigration to reflect the best of our nation’s values and ideals – not the worst of our mistakes.
Our country has developed a shameful practice of using the ‘criminal’ label as a way of stripping people of their rights and humanity, and Black communities and communities of color have disproportionately faced the devastating consequences of this practice.
The New Way Forward Act would restore fundamental principles of due process and compassion in our immigration system, reduce racial profiling, and help keep families together. It’s time to stop criminalizing immigrants and envision our communities free of mass detention and deportation. It’s time for a new way forward.
The Immigrant Justice Network is playing a leading role in the New Way Forward campaign, working closely with a broad coalition of partner organizations from across the country. We are thankful to the bill’s cosponsors, who have taken a powerful step towards charting a new vision forward, one that upholds compassion and equal treatment for all. Legal experts who are deeply familiar with the legislation and community leaders are available for interviews.
Background: The New Way Forward Act, which is supported by dozens of members of Congress and organizations across the country, would roll back harmful immigration laws that have led to racial profiling and disproportionately resulted in the incarceration, deportation, and destruction of families of color and immigrant communities. The bill would:
- Push back on mass incarceration, ending mandatory immigration detention and banning for-profit immigration jails.
- Restore vital due process protections. It gives immigration judges the power to consider the individual circumstances of people’s lives and ensure they remain in the U.S. And it allows community members to move forward with their lives without fear that an old sentence could lead to deportation many years later.
- End federal prison sentences and criminal prosecutions for people who cross the border seeking freedom, safety, opportunity, or to come home. A law originally authored by a white supremacist in the 1920’s has fueled mass incarceration under recent administrations of both parties.
- Advance racial justice by limiting deportation for convictions steeped in racial profiling.
- Protect local resources by ending the harmful practice of local police acting as deportation agents or carrying out mass deportations with ICE.
- Create a process for people previously ordered deported to apply for the opportunity to come home.