House Democrats' immigration bill would use tax dollars to import crime to America
By Nolan Rappaport

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Congressman Jesús G. “Chuy” García’s (D-Ill.), “New Way Forward Act,” H.R. 5383, was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship on Jan. 30. It is cosponsored by 43 of Garcia’s fellow Democrats, four of whom are on the subcommittee, including Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the Vice Chair. The bill is supported by more than 145 advocacy groups.

It is also the most ill-advised immigration legislation I have ever seen.

Garcia claims his bill would correct racial and anti-immigrant injustices embedded in our immigration laws, but the bill’s main provisions would simply protect aliens who are subject to deportation because they have committed crimes.

Implementation would bury an already overwhelmed immigration court under an avalanche of new cases; it would allow dangerous criminals to remain in the United States, and it would use tax dollars to bring deported criminals back.

Would decriminalize migration

For starters — and the likely headline feature — Section VI of the bill would repeal 8 USC §1325(a) and 8 USC §1326which make illegal entry into the United States a crime and makes it a crime to reenter the United States after being deported.

These laws are the main deterrents to illegal entries, and the bill fails to provide other means of deterrence.

According to a new TRAC report, illegal entry prosecutions fell recently. Resources have been devoted instead to prosecuting other types of federal offenses such as drug offenses, weapons, and white-collar crime.

While decriminalizing illegal entry should be no surprise in a Democratic immigration bill — it’s been discussed in presidential debates after all — it’s the other provisions in Garcia’s proposal that are jaw-dropping.

Would give old crimes a pass


Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him on Twitter @NolanR1 or at