Introducing: New Way Forward Act


The Immigrant Justice Network, along with a coalition of grassroots and national organizations, demands that Congress take legislative action to disentangle the criminal legal and immigration systems that propagate mass incarceration and mass deportation, paving a New Way Forward for immigrant justice.

The "New Way Forward Act, introduced by U.S. Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Karen Bass (CA-37), marks an important step toward remedying injustices in the U.S. immigration system and securing the full human rights of all members of our communities. The New Way Forward Act rolls back harmful immigration laws that, for decades, have led to racial profiling and disproportionately resulted in the incarceration, deportation, and destruction of families of color and immigrant communities.

The New Way Forward Act would:

End mandatory detention. Reduce mass incarceration by ending mandatory detention and banning for-profit immigration jails.

Restore judicial discretion and end summary deportations. Allow immigration judges to consider a person’s individual circumstances during deportation proceedings, allowing more people to remain with their families and move forward with their lives without fear that an old offense could lead to deportation.

Limit the criminal legal system to deportation pipeline Allow independent federal judges to review certain decisions of immigration judges that the 1996 laws unfairly tried to remove from judicial oversight.

Decriminalize migration End federal prison sentences and criminal prosecutions for people who cross the border seeking freedom, safety, opportunity, or to reunite with their families.

Implement a five year statute of limitations for removal. Advance racial justice and address obstacles to equal justice in the criminal legal system by limiting deportation for drug convictions and other offenses that result from enforcement that disproportionately targets communities of color.

End entanglement between federal immigration enforcement and local law enforcement. Protect communities and local resources by ending the harmful practice of local police acting as deportation agents or carrying out mass deportations with ICE.

Create an opportunity to come home for people previously deported. Allow people previously ordered deported to apply for the opportunity to come home.


  • Why We Need a New Way Forward

    Read the backgrounder

  • Reimagining Immigration

    New Way Forward Act


In the late 1990's, Immigrant Justice Network (IJN) members along with grassroots and national partners began a conversation about the mass incarceration of immigrants in the U.S., grounded in the values of justice, human dignity, and due process, the #Fix96 campaign was launched. 

#Fix96 was a call to challenge the two immigration laws signed during the Clinton administration in 1996–the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). These laws further entrenched mass incarceration and laid the blueprint for the deportation machine we face today.

The #Fix96 campaign was supported by grassroots organizations across the country, but elected officials on both sides continued to focus on exclusive immigration reform efforts and have failed to address the mass criminalization and enforcement enabled by the 1996 bills. 

Now, with the New Way Forward Campaign, IJN continues to call for dismantling the systems that criminalize and incarcerate immigrants. In addition to the 1996 bills, we must also repeal harmful laws enacted decades earlier that criminalize migration and have led to a mass expansion in federal private prisons and enabled significant abuses, from “assembly-line” hearings of shackled people to Trump’s infamous family separation policy.

Support for a New Way Forward

Advancement Project
Alianza Americas
America's Voice
American Arab Anti-Discrimination
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Friends Service Committee
Amnesty International USA
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Campaign for Youth Justice
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Popular Democracy
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Church World Service
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Community Change
Community of Sant'Egidio
Congregation of Holy Cross, Moreau Province
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepard, U.S. Provinces
Congregation of the Mission, Western Province
Council for Global Equality Council on American-Islamic Relations
Detention Watch Network
Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries
Drug Policy Alliance
East Coast Asian American Student Union
Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America
Faith In Public Life
Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)
Families Belong Together
Farmworker Justice
Franciscan Action Network
Freedom for Immigrants
Freedom Network USA
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Grassroots Leadership
Hispanic Federation
Human Rights Watch
Immigrant Defense Project
Immigrant Justice Network
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Immigration Hub
Japanese American Citizens League
Just Futures Law
Justice in Motion
Justice Strategies
Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region USA
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF)
National Bail Fund Network
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Education Association
National Equality Action Team
National Immigration Justice Center (NIJC)
National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG)
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
National Partnership for New Americans
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates
People's Action
PFLAG National
Poligon Education Fund
Positive Women's Network -USA
Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator
Restore The Fourth
Revolutionary Love Project
Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN)
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC)
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Ujima Inc: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
UndocuBlack Network
Southside Worker Center
Asian Prisoner Support Committee
Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
Centro Legal de la Raza
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
Equality California
Haitian Bridge Alliance
Haitian Immigrant Bail Assistance Project (HIBAP)
Immigrant Legal Defense
Khmer Girls in Action
Public Counsel
Vietnamese American Organization
Vietnamese Student Union at UCLA
United for a New Economy
Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible
The South Asian Society at Yale
Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA)
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
Asian American Advocacy Fund
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta
United Action for Idaho
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
United Vision for Idaho
Arise Chicago
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Chicago
HANA Center
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Indivisible Brookfield
Kaibigan: Philippine Student Association
Knox College Young Democratic Socialists of America
Latino Policy Forum
Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD)
PASO - West Suburban Action Project
St. Patrick's Church
Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Louisville Community Bail Fund
Passionist Solidarity Network
ISLA: Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy
Voces Unidas: Louisiana Immigrants Rights Coalition
Maryland United for Peace and Justice
The University of Baltimore School of Law
Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW)
Dominican Development Center
Mount Holyoke College Asian American Students in Action
Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts
Mississippi Center for Justice
Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center
Silver State Equality - Nevada
NHCUCC Immigrant and Refugee Support Group
Assumption College for Sisters
New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence
Sisters of Christian Charity
New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
Asian American Federation (AAF)
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
Brooklyn Defender Services
Church Women United in New York State
Latino Justice
Mekong NYC
New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)
S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc.
Sisters of St. Joseph
Southeast Asian Defense Project
The Bronx Defenders
Equality North Carolina
Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC)
Advocating Opportunity
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Lorain Ohio Immigrant Rights Association
Ohio Domestic Violence Network
Ohio Immigrant Alliance
Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin
Pax Christi Greensburg
Sisters of Christian Charity
Providence Youth Student Movement
Hilton Head For Peace
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hidalgo County
South Texas Human Rights Center
Vermont Freedom Bail Fund
Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Cville Immigrant Bond Fund
Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates (JCIRA)
Khmer Anti-Deportation Advocacy Group (KhAAG)
Sexual Violence Law Center
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Catholic Coalition for Migrant and Immigrants
End Domestic Abuse - Wisconsin
Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission
Sisters of St. Joseph

The Immigrant Justice Network is a leading advocacy voice against the criminalization of immigrants in the United States. Grounded in racial justice values, we build power to defend the dignity of all immigrants.