NBC: Asian American community advocates say a new immigration reform bill reintroduced in Congress on Tuesday can become a pathway for Southeast Asian Americans who have been deported to return to the U.S. or who are in deportation proceedings to stay in the country.

Reintroduced by Reps. Jesús  “Chuy” García, Pramila Jayapal, Karen Bass, and Ayanna Pressley, the New Way Forward Act seeks to decriminalize immigration and tackle systemic racism in the country’s immigration system. Key components of the bill include: eliminating mandatory detention, redefining convictions, ending deportations based on certain convictions, restoring judicial discretion for immigration judges, creating a five-year statute of limitations for deportability, and establishing an opportunity to come home for certain deported individuals or non-citizens in deportation proceedings.

Advancing Justice and SEARAC issued the following joint statement: “This landmark legislation re-envisions the United States’ severely flawed and racist immigration enforcement system. The New Way Forward Act would restore fundamental due process protections and compassion back to our immigration system. For the last several years, our country’s outdated and unjust immigration laws have been used to deport our communities at an unprecedented level. As we look to eliminate mass incarceration and create a racially just society, the New Way Forward Act is an essential step toward justice and equity for immigrant and refugee communities. We need to provide a way for those individuals who were unjustly removed to have the opportunity to come home and be reunited with their families.”

Read more about the news story here. Find out how you can take action today by following Advancing Justice and SEARAC’s action alerts to contact your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the New Way Forward Act!

 

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