Kobach: The New Way Forward Bill Isn’t Just Bad Policy; It’s Insanity

Photo by: Ross D. Franklin Newly arrived people who were caught in Arizona by the U.S. Bor
AP File Photo: Ross D. Franklin

The open-borders Democrats in Congress continue to outdo themselves. One would think that it would be impossible to come up with anything more idiotic than their proposals to give free health care to illegal aliens and to abolish ICE. But they have done it again.

The New Way Forward Bill, introduced relatively quietly by Representative Jesús Garcia (D-Ill.) and other Democrats in December 2019, is even worse than these ideas. And it’s gaining steam. Introduced with the support of the most radical progressives in the House including, of course, “the Squad,” more Democrats have signed on since. It’s now up to 44 co-sponsors. It also has the support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

So, what’s in the bill that’s so bad?  One of the worst parts has already gotten some attention from conservative critics such as Tucker Carlson. It prohibits the deportation of aliens for criminal activity carrying a minimum sentence of less than five years. It similarly removes the automatic deportation of those aliens who commit crimes of moral turpitude.

Even worse, it invites back into the country those deported criminal aliens who meet these relaxed standards. So already-deported criminals who have committed crimes such as auto theft, gun offenses, child abuse, rape, and even manslaughter would be permitted to come back into the United States. As long as the criminal alien’s deportation occurred after April 1996, he can return.

Let’s be clear just how insane this is. The United States has spent billions of dollars apprehending, detaining, adjudicating, and removing these criminal aliens. Less than five years ago, even President Barack Obama said that that a “smart” immigration system “does focus on making sure that people who are dangerous, people who are gang bangers or criminals, that we’re deporting them as quickly as possible.”  Now the Democrat proponents of the New Way Forward bill want to bring those deported criminals back into the United States.

Oh, and they want you to pay for it too. The bill declares that such a criminal alien has a “right to come home.”  That’s right, “home.”  Never mind that the alien wasn’t a citizen of the United States and has been back in his country of origin for up to 24 years. The Democratic proponents of the bill insist that the United States is his true “home.” And that means we taxpayers have to pay for his speedy transportation back to the USA.

Having a porous border that allows criminals to enter (and re-enter) the United States illegally is bad enough. And it’s outrageously bad policy to remove those provisions of federal law that call for the deportation of aliens who commit serious crimes. But it’s utter insanity to use taxpayer dollars to pay to bring convicted criminals back into the United States.

But wait, there’s more.

The New Way Forward Bill also prohibits state and local police from providing any assistance transferring illegal aliens in their custody to ICE. Without this help, ICE is nearly powerless to go after criminal aliens. Contrary to popular misconception, ICE does not have legions of officers patrolling the country looking for criminal aliens on their own. Rather ICE relies heavily on state and local police to make those arrests for them when those local police are carrying out their normal law enforcement activities against criminals.

Currently, ICE enters the names of wanted illegal aliens in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. And ICE issues detainer requests to local police to hold wanted aliens for a short period so that ICE can take custody of them.

Under the New Way Forward Bill, all of that would end. A local police department may have in its custody a known criminal alien gang member with a long criminal record who both the police department and ICE would love to see removed from the country. Unfortunately, they would be compelled to turn the dangerous gang member loose back onto the streets.

And one more thing. Federal law currently makes sanctuary cities illegal (under 8 U.S.C. 1373 and 1644). Unfortunately, over 300 mostly-Democrat-run cities and counties ignore these provisions of federal law, because there’s no penalty for breaking the law. But thousands more follow federal law and cooperate with ICE. That too would change under the New Way Forward Bill. The ban on sanctuary cities would be lifted. And because cooperation with ICE would be forbidden, in effect, every city would become a sanctuary city.

In short, the enforcement of immigration laws would grind to a halt. Sanctuary cities would become the new norm. Thousands of alien criminals would be given free flights back into the United States. And many Americans would lose their lives as a result of the crimes that ensued. Their federal government, which was supposed to protect them, would have knowingly put them in danger.

Just imagine being a victim of a previously-deported alien criminal who was flown back into the country courtesy of the U.S. government. Attacked by a criminal alien and betrayed by your country. “Insanity” isn’t a strong enough word to describe it.

Kris W. Kobach served as the Secretary of State of Kansas during 2011-2019. An expert in immigration law and policy, he coauthored the Arizona SB-1070 immigration law and represented in federal court the 10 ICE agents who sued to stop Obama’s 2012 DACA executive amnesty. He currently serves as General Counsel for We Build the Wall and is a candidate for the U.S. Senate. His website is www.kriskobach.com.


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