The Dream Action Coalition joins several other immigrant rights, civil rights and Latino organization in endorsing the “Justice Not For Sale” bill. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) today introduced this bills to ban private prisons, reinstate the federal parole system and eliminate quotas for the number of immigrants held in detention. Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, Co-Directors of the Dream Action Coalition, have released the following statement:
“We understand how hard it will be to pass a bill like this one: there are billions of dollars at stake for an industry that already spends millions on lobbyists and donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians on both sides of the aisle. It is time, however, to address one aspect of the badly needed criminal justice reforms, and this conversation must start somewhere. Thousands of immigrant families and people of color are, or have been, incarcerated and detained in prisons across the country for nonviolent offenses, including some of our own family members. It’s not OK to use our bodies to fill quotas for corporate gains,” Said Erika Andiola.
“For too long, we have suffered as a multi-billion dollar industry has kept it’s hands on the levers of power: our prison population, in immigration detention and other areas of the criminal justice system, has become an expensive, national shame,” said Cesar Vargas. “This is the type of reform that has been talked about, even by formerly ‘tough on crime’ Republicans who have seen the dystopian mess our prison system has become like Ted Cruz (R-TX), often locking people up who are too poor to fight back with very little cause.”