Today in Trump's Contemptible Anti-Immigrant Agenda

[Content Note: Nativism; video may autoplay at link.]

Tal Kopan at CNN reports:
The House Thursday is expected to pass bills that would hand [Donald] Trump key pieces of his immigration agenda, especially efforts targeting sanctuary cities.

The bills, "Kate's Law" and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, would install harsher penalties for repeat illegal entry to the U.S., and expand US law on sanctuary cities to pressure localities to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

...Immigration and civil liberties advocates have also come out swinging against the bills, saying they bolster a "deportation force" and anti-immigrant agenda from the Trump administration.

Both bills come from the Judiciary Committee led by Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a longtime proponent of strict immigration policies like Trump's and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Another lead sponsor is Iowa Rep. Steve King, one of the most aggressive Republicans on immigration enforcement who has a history of controversial statements about immigrants.
It's unclear whether either bill has enough votes to pass the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could not find enough votes to pass Kate's Law last year, and one hopes he will struggle again after the House inevitably passes this garbage today.

The bills are both predicated on fearmongering against undocumented immigrants, and the erroneous suggestion that undocumented immigrants are more dangerous and more prone to violent crime than U.S. citizens. That is flatly false.

In fact, as Philip Bump reports at the Washington Post, Thomas Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) refused to endorse that sinister lie promulgated by Donald Trump.
[At a press conference on Wednesday, Homan] was asked whether immigrants in the country illegally were more likely to commit crimes.

He suggested that they weren't.

Homan was describing a number of crimes that had been committed by immigrants in the United States and advocated for building a wall on the border with Mexico.

"Aren't you concerned, though, about exacerbating fears about undocumented immigrants?" CNN's Jim Acosta asked. "You're making it sound as if undocumented immigrants commit more crimes than people who are just native-born Americans."

"What is your sense of the numbers on this? Are undocumented people more likely or less likely to commit crimes?" Acosta asked.

"Did I say aliens commit more crimes than U.S. citizens? I didn't say that," Homan replied.
The president, however, has. He has plainly stated that demonizing lie, and he brought victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants to his speech to Congress, where he announced the creation of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE), an office within the Department of Homeland Security to, according to Trump, "serve American victims" of undocumented immigrants and provide "a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests."

Most reasonable people would not assume the creation of a dedicated office is warranted to address criminality in an immigrant population that actually commits fewer violent crimes than U.S. citizens. The implication of the very creation of the office is that an outsized problem of criminality necessitates it.

And that's certainly the implication that Trump hopes we will take, as the Republican majority in the House passes two bills with the same intent today.

The biggest threat to our collective safety is not undocumented immigrants. The biggest threat to our collective safety is the Republican Party.

Donald Trump hopes you haven't noticed that.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus