Why We're Supporting Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives in California and Oklahoma

Posted by FWD.us on 10/30/2016

Today, we’re announcing our support for ballot measures in two states — Proposition 57 in California and State Questions 780 and 781 in Oklahoma — that we believe will achieve important criminal justice reforms. We’re supporting these ballot measures while remaining steadfast in our commitment to achieving commonsense immigration reform.

Criminal justice reform is a complicated topic. There’s a lot we’re still learning, but this we know: There are aspects of America’s criminal justice system that are broken, including some that have particularly negative impacts on the poor and communities of color, and fixing them is going to take a lot of hard work.

Over the last few years, we’ve worked with diverse, bipartisan coalitions in our continuing fight for commonsense immigration reform; we’re encouraged to see a similar coalition growing to support criminal justice reform.

We believe it’s important to look for bipartisan opportunities to find practical solutions to big problems. We’re excited that this is happening in states as different as California and Oklahoma. In both places, broad bipartisan coalitions — conservatives and progressives, law enforcement professionals and formerly incarcerated people and their families, elected officials and crime survivors, business groups and faith leaders — are coming together to improve their criminal justice systems.

The Oklahoma and California ballot measures are advancing balanced approaches to public safety that will reduce recidivism through rehabilitation strategies like treatment for substance abuse and mental health problems, education, and job training. State Questions 780 and 781 would reclassify certain minor offenses like drug possession as misdemeanors and reinvest the savings into community-based rehabilitation programs. And Prop 57 would give judges and parole boards more discretion to determine people’s sentences and create new incentives for some prisoners to prepare themselves for reentry.

At FWD.us, we believe that America is strongest when everyone has a chance to contribute to our communities and our country. That’s why we’re proud to support these efforts and to learn from those already doing this work, even as we continue our fight to fix our immigration system next Congress.

*****

More information about Prop 57 and State Questions 780 and 781 is available at these websites:

FWD.us Statement on Third Presidential Debate

Posted by FWD.us on 10/19/2016

WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement after Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump exchanged views on fixing our broken immigration system during the third presidential debate:

“Tonight, we heard two distinctly different visions for fixing our broken immigration system and dealing with the 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States. One vision is a policy of mass deportation that transforms America into a police state, hurts our economy, rips families apart, forfeits innovation to competing countries, and turns our backs on nearly 250 years of tradition. The other vision prioritizes reform in the first 100 days of the Administration, embraces a smart approach to strong border security, promotes a policy that keeps families together, facilitates economic growth, and continues our proud history as a nation of immigrants.”

A FOX News poll released yesterday shows that 74 percent of voters support a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, in favor of deporting them. Among Republicans polled, 60 percent support a path to legalization. The polling also shows a nearly 40 percent reduction in support for mass deportation during this campaign.

 

###

FWD.us Statement on Immigration During The VP Debate

Posted by FWD.us on 10/04/2016

WASHINGTON, DC — Following tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate in Farmville, VA, where Vice Presidential Candidates Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Mike Pence answered questions regarding immigration, FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement:

Tonight, we were happy to see Senator Kaine again commit to fixing our broken immigration system through bipartisan legislation in 2017, including smart border security and a pathway to citizenship. It was disappointing to hear Governor Pence use euphemisms to try to talk around the actual impact of Donald Trump’s plans to round up and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants as well as eliminate nearly all legal immigration channels. While it’s sadly understandable why anyone would avoid coming out and saying these mass deportation “plans” would cost $620 billion in new government spending to build a police state, destroy the economy and break up millions of families, tonight made it all the more clear that American voters deserve a clear policy conversation on immigration reform at the next two debates.”

FWD.US Statement On Denial To Rehear U.S. v. Texas Case

Posted by Todd Schulte on 10/03/2016

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States denied a petition to rehear the U.S. v. Texas case, which could have provided relief from deportation for millions of American families. Among those are roughly 4.5 million U.S.-born American citizen children with undocumented parents.

FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement regarding the decision:

“Day after day, millions of our friends, neighbors, and coworkers — both immigrants and native-born Americans alike — continue to live in uncertainty under the harrowing threat of deportation. It’s been nearly two years since these executive actions were announced.  In those two years — and for over two decades prior — Congress has failed to provide a reasonable solution to address the urgent need of millions of hardworking American families whose lives hang in the balance.  We remain confident in the merits of this case, and will continue fighting for a permanent legislative solution that benefits all Americans.”

We believe that more than ever, Congress must step up and do its job to pass a bipartisan legislative solution to fix our badly broken immigration system. That work should start today. We’re prepared to do everything we can to support the effort to make commonsense immigration reform a reality in 2017.”