H.R. 5383: The ‘New Way Forward Act’: A Roadmap for Immigration

Posted on 08/31/2020
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H.R. 5383, the “New Way Forward Act”, which has 44 cosponsors, would effectively eviscerate immigration enforcement at the border and in the interior of the United States. It would all but eliminate detention for immigration purposes, and impose new burdens on our already overtaxed immigration courts. It would place onerous restrictions on ICE officers and Border Patrol agents in making immigration arrests — including in desolate areas of the border in the middle of the night. It would require those officers and agents to justify every arrest of an alien without a warrant before an immigration judge, straining to the point of elimination DHS’s limited immigration-enforcement resources. It would create a “statute of limitations” of five years for the commencement of removal proceedings based on even the most serious criminal offenses. It would limit the criminal grounds of removal so significantly that only the most extreme offenses would render criminal aliens removable, and would also expand the relief available to the few aliens who would still be removable on criminal grounds. It would make the amendments to the criminal grounds of removal and relief retroactive, so that even criminal aliens who have been removed from the United States, but who would not have been removable had that law been in effect, could apply to have their cases reopened or reconsidered. Immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals would have no discretion not to reopen or reconsider those cases. It would require DHS to pay to fly those criminal aliens who have been removed and who would be eligible for reopening or reconsideration thereunder back to the United States — which would result in dangerous criminal aliens being returned at taxpayer expense back to this country to commit more crimes. It would prevent state and local law enforcement from assisting ICE and CBP in immigration enforcement in any way, and bar the inclusion of immigration-related information into the NCIC database or its incorporated criminal history databases. This would essentially make every jurisdiction in the United States a “sanctuary jurisdiction”. As a result, ICE officers would have to risk their own safety and the safety of the community as a whole to arrest dangerous criminal aliens at their homes or in public places. It would repeal the criminal grounds of illegal entry and reentry into the United States, encouraging fraud, enriching smugglers, traffickers, and criminal cartels, and endangering the national security and the community.

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