Notorious Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib found herself backtracking in a recent interview on her own policy stances after being called out for supporting a bill that would have abolished all prisons within 10 years.
Asked by Axios reporter Jonathan Swan about her support for the BREATHE Act, which calls for the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services to create a roadmap for the “full decarceration of federal detention facilities within 10 years” and “a moratorium on all new federal prison, jail, immigrant and youth detention construction,” Tlaib found herself in an unenviable position.
“To what extent have you wrestled with releasing any potential downsides of releasing into society every single person who currently in a federal prison?” Swan asked Tlaib.
“Yeah, I think that everyone’s like, ‘Oh my G-d, we’re going to just release everybody,’” Tlaib said. “That’s not what I’m—”
“That’s what the act says,” Swan fired back.
“Yeah, but did you see how many people are mentally ill that are in prison right now,” Tlaib argued.
“No, I know,” Swan said. “But the act you endorsed actually says release everyone in 10 years. … There are like, human traffickers, child [predators]. Do you mean that you don’t actually support that? Because you endorsed the bill.”
Tlaib then accused Swan of ignoring mentally ill people in prison who deserve to be released due to their conditions.
“Why aren’t you asking me about them?” she asked. “You’re asking me about the human traffickers and others that should be able to be held accountable.”
“What I’m trying to understand is, your proposal is so sweeping,” Swan said. “It does release everyone.”
“Oh, yeah, within 10 years,” Tlaib responded. “Obviously, there’s a process of looking at how we can get away from mass incarceration and move toward care first.”
“Do you believe that there are still categories of people who should be behind bars?” Swan asked.
“There are absolutely,” Tlaib answered. “I don’t think there’s any rehabilitation happening right now for those that might actually have … mental health issues.”
“Do you think all people can be rehabilitated?” Swan asked.
“I don’t think so. I’ve been very clear about that,” Tlaib replied.
“I would have to look at every case individually and figure all of that out,” she added later. “Everyone in jail is not the same.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)