Tucker Carlson at Fox News has done heroic work trying to get Americans to wake up to a monstrous campaign in Congress to decriminalize border trespassing, reward criminal aliens, and sabotage what’s left of our already crippled deportation system. As he reported last week, the New Way Forward Act would break the so-called “prison to deportation pipeline” by eliminating all categories of crime that previously qualified illegals and non-citizens for automatic deportation.
“Under current U.S. law,” he told viewers, “legal U.S. immigrants can be deported if they commit an ‘aggravated felony’ or a ‘crime of moral turpitude’ – that is, a vile, depraved act, like molesting a child. Under the New Way Forward Act, ‘crimes of moral turpitude’ are eliminated entirely as a justification for deportation. And the category of ‘aggravated felony’ gets circumscribed too. What does that mean? Consider this: Under current law, immigrants who commit serious crimes – such as robbery, fraud, or child sexual abuse – must be deported, regardless of the sentence they receive. Other crimes – less severe ones like racketeering – require deportation as long as the perpetrator receives at least a one-year sentence. But if this bill passes the House and Senate and is signed into law by the president, there will no longer be any crimes that automatically require deportation. None.”
Here’s the thing. While 44 Congressional Democrats are now under much-deserved scrutiny for their support of this extreme measure, open-borders Utah Republicans already passed similar immigration decriminalization “reforms” into state law (HB 244) last year–with the praise and approval of the American Civil Liberties Union:
“Utah is known for its red rock canyons, steep ski slopes, and a mega-majority Republican legislature. And now it can be recognized as one of just a handful of states to pass legislation that helps noncitizens avoid deportation if they are convicted of a misdemeanor.
The bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 25, clarifies that misdemeanor convictions in Utah can no longer be interpreted as aggravated felonies for immigration purposes, avoiding automatic deportation for a crime as simple as shop-lifting. To make this happen, the bill reduces the maximum possible sentence for misdemeanors in Utah by a single day — from 365 days to 364 days. In an era when lawmakers often pass splashy message bills that create little impact, the new law is just the opposite — a nuanced piece of legislation that spans the twin chasms of criminal justice and immigration reform, while improving the lives of thousands of Utah residents.
…We now join states such as Nevada, California, and Washington that have passed so-called 364-day laws, with the goal of reducing the immigration consequences of convictions for noncitizens. But Utah is one of the few Republican-led states to make this change. Utah also surprisingly reached the finish line ahead of both Colorado and New York, two states that adopted similar protections in March.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 244 into law in late March in what is seen as a step toward immigration reform in the state. HB 244 puts an end to misdemeanor convictions being interpreted as aggravated felonies for noncitizens. This helps those accused of crimes that are petty as shoplifting to avoid automatic deportation. HB 244 accomplishes its purpose by reducing the maximum possible misdemeanor sentence in the state by one day—to 364 days instead of 365, allowing circumvention of a federal immigration law that treats state misdemeanors as felonies when the potential sentence for the offender is one year or more.
It’s bad enough that Utah voters gave us traitorous snake Mitt Romney, Indian green card pimp Sen. Mike Lee, and previous open-borders Chamber of Commerce stooges Bob Bennett, shamnesty shill Chris Cannon, and Jon McCain Huntsman. But Utah voters also elected a governor and legislature that unanimously adopted this law for immigration outlaws. As the ACLU crowed:
Despite some indications that prosecutors would oppose the bill in Utah, no resistance materialized to the bill as it passed both chambers by unanimous votes.
Here are the Utah bill sponsors (State Rep. Eric Hutchings, State Sen. Daniel Thatcher, and staff responsible for coddling illegal alien criminals and paving a path for “Way Forward” leftists:
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is one of the 18 Republican refugee resettlement racket governors who betrayed American citizens seeking to exercise local control over who gets dumped in their backywards.
So you will not be shocked to learn that it was Republican refugee racketeers who were behind the “Way Forward” bill in Utah:
The idea for the bill originated with the Refugee Justice League, a group of over 700 attorneys who volunteer their time to help refugees who are discriminated against. Co-founder James McConkie said Hutchings’ bill is the Utah-based organization’s first priority during this year’s legislative session.
McConkie said the current conflict in the law is especially damaging to refugees, who can be automatically deported for crimes as simple as joyriding. This often removes a father from the home, he said, and leaves a family struggling to make ends meet. Or young people, he said, can be deported and separated from their families because of minor crimes. And when refugees are sent out of the country, McConkie said their lives are on the line because of how dangerous their home countries are.
Here are the Utah members of the Refugee Justice League that pushed the state’s “Way Forward” decriminalization of criminal aliens:
The “Way Forward” coalition of Open Borders Inc. Democrats and Republicans have linked the Utah effort with the national bill sponsored by Illinois Democrat Jesus Garcia. Here’s how one left-wing cheerleader put it:
Earlier this year in Utah, a Republican governor and legislature passed a bill to reduce the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor by one day—from 365 days to 364. The singular point of that tiny change was to exploit a legal loophole so that wide swaths of immigrant defendants could be shielded from automatic deportation for misdemeanors. (Under one of Clinton’s laws, crimes punishable by 365 days or more in prison trigger automatic deportation.) Prosecutors in New York State endorsed a similar bill, which was enacted in April.
In other words, the “New Way Forward” is repackaged community organizing that has been aimed for decades at repealing the 1996 Clinton-era Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), which agitators blame on “mass incarceration” of illegal and criminal aliens. “Fix 96” is a hobby horse of the Soros-funded Left, led by the ACLU, the Immigrant Defense Project and Immigrant Justice Network collaboration between IDP, illegal alien sanctuary-promoting Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and National Immigration Project of the Communist Party member-founded, Soros-funded National Lawyers Guild.
Here are the national promoters of “Way Forward” on the Left, the majority of which are non-profit, tax exempt “charities” that will be familiar to Open Borders Inc. readers. At least of the promoters is the tax-subsidized refugee resettlement contractor Church World Service. There’s also the George Clooney-supported Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, Muslim grievance groups CAIR and MPAC, assorted Catholic social justice warriors, and the National Education Association. Quite the anti-American squad, aren’t they?
American Arab Anti-Discrimination
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Friends Service Committe
Amnesty International USA
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Campaign for Youth Justice
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Popular Democracy
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Church World Service
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Center for Community Change
Community of Sant’Egidio
Congregation of Holy Cross, Moreau Province
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepard, U.S. Provinces
Congregation of the Mission, Western Province
Council for Global Equality
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Detention Watch Network
Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries
Drug Policy Alliance
East Coast Asian American Student Union
Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America
Faith In Public Life
Families Belong Together
Franciscan Action Network
Freedom for Immigrants
Freedom Network USA
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Human Rights Watch
Immigrant Defense Project
Immigrant Justice Network
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Japanese American Citizens League
Just Futures Law
Justice in Motion
Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region USA
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Bail Fund Network
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Education Association
National Equality Action Team
National Immigration Justice Center (NIJC)
National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG)
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
National Partnership for New Americans
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
Poligon Education Fund
Positive Women’s Network -USA
Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator
Restore The Fourth
Revolutionary Love Project
Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN)
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC)
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Ujima Inc: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
United We Dream
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)
Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights