The U.S. Constitution created our Federal Government to establish justice and “secure the blessings of liberty.” Yet today the United States has the largest prison population in the world. Mass incarceration has devastated many of our minority communities. The war on drugs has been a failure, and it’s time to rethink locking up individuals for non-violent crimes. We can’t arrest our way around the lack of opportunity in our rural areas and inner cities. Prison is no substitute for good schools and jobs that provide a living wage.
The promise of our great nation, etched into the Statue of Liberty, is simple and clear: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” Immigrants have been an integral part of our nation’s defense, economy, and culture since its founding. We must reform our immigration policies to create a path for full citizenship for undocumented immigrants and Dreamers and acknowledge the important role immigrants play in our continued success.
- Recognize substance abuse as a treatable medical issue instead of a criminal matter and fund treatment programs rather than prisons
- Support legislation that bars local, state, and federal government from contracting with private for-profit prisons, which have built-in incentives to keep people behind bars unjustly
- Require the Justice Department to conduct full federal investigations of civil rights violations and hate crimes
- Guarantee a path to citizenship for Dreamers and refugees who have been vetted and qualify for temporary protective status
- Oppose unconstitutional bans based on religious discrimination
- Expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity