Julian-Alexandre Wang, Journalist
This is an opinion article by one of our staff writers, and the opinions expressed here do not represent the views of the newspaper in general or of the leadership team.
On December 10 th , 2019, members of Congress introduced a bill, the New Way Forward Act. With an unconstitutional undertone, this bill has struck a malignance towards the American spirit. This exceeds the extremes of the Green New Deal by far, and the radicalism encroached within this bill envisions the future of our country as apprehensively dismal. Regardless of political sides or opinions, any American should firmly stand against this. The New Way Forward Act goes against American laws, American culture, and the American people. There should be no appropriation on what America has been built upon. From the great Revolutionary War of 1776 to modern society, history has explained that our democratic-republic country is a governmental system that should never be tampered with. It may not be perfect, nor will it ever be, yet that still should not result in dire transpositions. I believe in the American Constitution. I believe in our democracy and our republic, and the belief of a new country distorted astray from the intentions and visions of our Founding Fathers is too irrational.,
The New Way Forward Act is a bill, “To reform the process for enforcing the immigration laws of the United States, and for other purposes.” This bill protects illegal immigrants in the most unprecedented ways ever seen before. It goes to extreme lengths to produce a better life and environment, not for hard-working Americans, but instead for undocumented immigrants who have committed serious offenses. The New Way Forward Act provides leeway for illegal immigration and crimes committed by them. This bill, if passed, would allow illegal immigrants in jail to be set free. This bill would reduce mass incarceration of illegal immigrant criminals and would end mandatory detention. It would also eliminate illegal immigrant jails. This bill gives courts the power to erase criminal records because of the sympathetic feeling of an illegal immigrant being torn from his or her family. In other words, people who come to America illegally and commit (another) crime can be exonerated. It would also end federal prison sentences and criminal prosecutions against people crossing our border illegally. This gives opportunities to drug cartels, murderers, thieves, human traffickers, and the list goes on. The bill also removes the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency from our government, thereby allowing America’s borders to be “enforcement-less” and borderless.
Not only are the American people threatened with safety by the release of criminals, the American people are also being penalized financially. It seems utterly senseless and unbelievable to see this type of proposal in Congress. It reaches out “above and beyond” to help illegal immigrants especially those who commit crimes. If it becomes law, this bill would use the American taxpayers’ money to pay for travel expenses for deported, criminal, illegal immigrants. For example, it allows taxpayer dollars to pay for plane tickets to allow formerly deported, illegal immigrant criminals to come back into America. (Yes, you read this correctly, we will bring illegal criminals already deported back!) Is this supposed to “cure racial inequality” against immigrants and give “equal opportunity?” Where is the equality for the general society this bill envisions? Truth is, this bill will not cure any inequality; it will only cause preeminent mayhem and indignation within American society.
The New Way Forward Act, however, has good intentions. It is a bill that is trying to reduce inequity in society. It wants to offer immigrants a chance, an opportunity, and safety. As much as I agree with equality for all and welcome immigration, laws still need to be abided by and our laws give protection to Americans, not illegal immigrants. I hold sympathetic feelings for undocumented immigrants and every American should too. But there needs to be a distinct separation between compassion and reason.
- According to the U.S. Department of Justice, recent data suggests the following:
- In 1998, 63% of all federal arrests were of U.S. citizens; in 2018, 64% of all federal arrests were of non-U.S. citizens.
- Non-U.S. citizens, who make up 7% of the U.S. population (per the U.S. Census Bureau for 2017), accounted for 15% of all federal arrests and 15% of prosecutions in U.S. district court for non-immigration crimes in 2018.
- The portion of total federal arrests that took place in the five judicial districts along the U.S.-Mexico border almost doubled from 1998 (33%) to 2018 (65%).
- Ninety-five percent of the increase in federal arrests across 20 years was due to immigration offenses.
These statistics do not mean all illegal immigrants are bad and are criminals. Most of them are good, hard working people. But these facts show that current loopholes in our system are real. They happen and have been happening for 20 plus years. The New Way Forward Act only serves to widen these loopholes. The data highlights that there needs to be an equal mindset on compassion versus reason.
The New Way Forward Act excludes the American people and unfairly favors criminals from the illegal immigrant population. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and there shouldn’t be a question of whether it should be passed or not. The New Way Forward Act is a bill promoting a morally correct purpose but a fundamentally erroneous enactment. The bill is unconstitutional, in my opinion. It goes against the principles of our country, and it goes against the principles of reason. Ronald Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” This is true and applicable for the quintessential moment we are facing today. America cannot continue to be spiritually poor and legislative bills that violate the principles of our very own laws, laws that protect each citizen of the United States. Society (and our laws) are not guilty, it is the lawbreaker that is guilty. America is great because of her principles for freedom and diversity derived from the Constitution. But we all need to remember that what makes America truly great, is the American people who carefully protect and nurture these principles for generations to come.