VOICE to incriminate immigrants

While mass media corporations like CNN and ABC called President Trump’s joint address to Congress presidential, unifying and inspiring, immigrant communities across the country were further terrorized and alienated by a speech that was supposed to do the opposite.
During the morning leading up to the address, news outlets including CNN reported Trump’s administration was considering introducing an immigration bill that would enable some unauthorized immigrants to live in this country without fear of deportation. The reaction to the news, especially by DACA receipts, was one filled with excitement and hope. DACA recipients are undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children, and are temporarily protected by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
DACA recipients and other groups of undocumented immigrants eagerly tuned into the speech in hopes Trump would give more details about his immigration plans, and confirm the rumors of his immigration bill. Instead, he said this:
“I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims (of crime). The office is called VOICE - Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media and silenced by special interest.”
With vague wording, President Trump announced his administration will be releasing weekly lists of crimes committed by immigrants in the United States. Make no mistake, Trump is attempting to create a distorted image of immigrants through the implementation of a narrative that naturally depicts them as law breaking individuals - these are again, alternative facts.
According to evidence from the Census Bureau, 1.6 percent immigrant males age 18-39 are incarcerated, compared to a 3.3 percent of native-born citizens. The Census Bureau concluded incarnations rates of native-borns are two to five times higher than immigrants.
Let me be as clear as possible, immigrants come to the United States in search of a better life. They come to this country in search of opportunities. Some do in fact commit crimes, but others, the vast majority, abide by the law, work and contribute to the economy in vital ways.
According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants contribute an estimated $11.64 billion a year through state and local taxes. In California alone, the state with the highest amount of undocumented immigrants, it is estimated they pay over 3.1 billion in taxes.
Do not be fooled, VOICE is a racist tool to negatively stir public opinion about immigrants and will be used as a justification to further expand Trump’s agenda. We need to fight back these politics of scapegoating, and the only way is with facts. The idea behind VOICE has been seen before. In the 1930s the Nazi party published a weekly list of crimes committed by Jews. Even Breitbart News, which was once led by president Trump’s political advisor Steve Bannon, used to have a section in their website called Black Crime.
Let’s not be hypocritical and remember a crime committed by someone in a group does not make the entire group criminals. Let’s not be oblivious to history. Let’s not let our darkest times repeat. The situation of immigrants is complicated, but above all we have to remember they are human beings, and must be treated with dignity.