The left-wing political group Black Lives Matter is seeking support in Congress for radical legislation that would, among other things, close all federal prisons and immigration detention centers.
The bill “would eliminate federal programs and agencies used to finance and expand the U.S. criminal-legal system, such as the Department of Defense 1033 program, the Edward Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program, Community Oriented Policing Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” the bill states.
“We stand on the shoulders of giants and there has been 400 years of work that Black people have done to try to get us closer to freedom,” Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors said about the proposed bill, citing the false date for America’s founding.
“This moment is a watershed moment,” Cullors said. “I think this moment calls for structural change and transformative change in ways that we haven’t seen in a very long time. We see this opportunity to push for the Breathe Act as a part of what we’re calling the modern-day civil rights act.”
As Breitbart News reported, far-left “Squad” members Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) partnered with the coalition Movement for Black Lives in promoting the bill:
The two lawmakers reportedly announced the “BREATHE Act” in a virtual meeting on Tuesday. Tlaib described the measure as ushering in a “new version for public safety — a new vision for public safety, one that protects and affirms black lives.”
“We must invest in a new vision of public safety,” Tlaib said. “Today, I am proud to join the calls coming out of one of the largest movements for justice that my district and our country have ever seen to say unapologetically: I support the #BREATHEAct.”
We must invest in a new vision of public safety.
Today, I am proud to join the calls coming out of one of the largest movements for justice that my district and our country have ever seen to say unapologetically:
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 7, 2020
The Associated Press reported on support for the radical legislation in academia:
University of Michigan professor and criminal justice expert Heather Ann Thompson acknowledged the uphill battle, but noted that the legislation is being introduced at a highly opportune time.
“I think those programs that they’re suggesting eliminating only look radical if we really ignore the fact that there has been tremendous pressure to meaningfully reform this criminal justice system,” said Thompson, author of ‘Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.’
“Every radical piece of legislation that we’ve ever passed in this country, it has passed on the heels of the kinds of grassroots protests that we saw on the streets. The will of the people indicates that if they just keep putting a Band-Aid on it, these protests are not going to go away,” Thompson said.
The bill has not yet been introduced in Congress.
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