Michigan Rep Rashida was attacked after she admitted in a recent interview that she didn’t necessarily agree with the details of a bill she supported last year that would have abolished federal prisons for a decade.
In an interview, Monday, November 22, the Democrat congresswoman, who is a member of the liberal ‘Squad,’ along with fellow House Reps Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Jamaal Bowman, admitted that some people belonged in prison.
Jonathan Swan, Axios’ reporter, asked Tlaib about her support for the BREATHE Act. This Act calls on the Justice Department and Health & Human Services Departments to develop a “roadmap” for prison abolition. It includes “full decarceration federal detention facilities within ten years” and “a moratorium all new federal prisons, jails, and youth detention construction,” Fox News reported.
“To what extent have you wrestled with releasing any potential downsides of releasing into society every single person who is currently in a federal prison?” Swan asked Tlaib. “Yeah, I think that everyone’s like, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to just release everybody,’” she responded. “That’s not what I’m—”
“That’s what the act says,” Swan interjected. “Yeah, but did you see how many people are mentally ill that are in prison right now,” Tlaib offered. “No, I know,” Swan said. “But the act you endorsed actually says release everyone in 10 years… There are like, human traffickers, child sex [predators]. Do you mean that you don’t actually support that? Because you endorsed the bill.”
However, the Michigan Democrat continued to argue that many inmates were struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues and should be rehabilitated rather than incarcerated. “Why don’t you ask me about them?” She asked the journalist. “You are asking me about human traffickers and other people who should be held accountable.” Swan responded, “What am I trying to understand? Your proposal is so broad.” It does free everyone.
“Oh, yeah, within 10 years,” answered Tlaib, saying that there would be a “process” to figure out how to “get away from mass incarceration and move toward care first.” However, Swan finally got Tlaib to answer one key question. “Do you believe that there are still categories of people who should be behind bars?” Swan asked. “There are, absolutely,” Tlaib said. “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 then asked. “I don’t think so. I’ve been very clear about that,” Tlaib stated. “I would have to look at every case individually and figure all of that out. Everyone in jail is not the same,” she added.
.@jonathanvswan presses Rep. Tlaib on backing a bill to end federal prisons: To what extent have you wrestled w/ potential downsides?— Axios (@axios) November 22, 2021
Tlaib: I think everyone's like, oh my god, we're going to just release everybody.
Swan: But the act you endorsed actually says release everyone pic.twitter.com/ZBX3T9wxQy
Social media was full of criticisms about the Tlaib. One tweet from Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, which stated that the proposal of the congresswoman was a more radical implementation of “Defund The Police,” was among the most popular.
“Oddly enough, Congresswoman Tlaib has had a tough time convincing Congress to follow her lead on emptying prisons,” the senator tweeted. “However, the Taliban jumped all over this idea. When they took over Afghanistan first thing they did was empty all the prisons – including releasing terrorists.” He then asked, “What could possibly go wrong? And why didn’t the media bring up this proposal during the 2020 presidential campaign?”
Eddie Zipperer, Professor of Political Science, commented, “Tlaib said, ‘I would need to look at each case separately.’ She should be told by someone that each case is unique and that there is a branch in government.
“This is just a cringe-worthy performance,” reporter Matthew Chapman added. “Tlaib repeatedly endorses a proposal that would abolish federal prisons, then acknowledges there are some violent criminals, like child traffickers, who probably can’t ever be rehabilitated, but sticks to endorsing the proposal anyway.” Another reporter Byron York, commenting on the interview, tweeted, “Some great questions for Rep Tlaib, which she does not know how to answer.”
Check These Tweets Out Here:
What could possibly go wrong?— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 22, 2021
And why didn’t the media bring up this proposal during 2020 presidential campaign?
Tlaib says, “I would have to look at each case individually.”— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) November 23, 2021
Someone should explain to her that there’s a branch of government whose ENTIRE function is to look at each case individually, and it’s not the branch she chose.
This is just a cringeworthy performance. Tlaib repeatedly endorses a proposal that would abolish federal prisons, then acknowledges there are some violent criminals, like child traffickers, who probably can't ever be rehabilitated, but sticks to endorsing the proposal anyway. https://t.co/R1r7TDkqvm— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) November 22, 2021
Some great questions for Rep. Tlaib, which she does not know how to answer. https://t.co/vVbbSNLhYy— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 22, 2021