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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 28, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 17
SAINT vs. VOICE

Pramila Jayapal helps launch Saved by American Immigrants National Taskforce
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SAINT vs. VOICE

Pramila Jayapal helps launch Saved by American Immigrants National Taskforce

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Donald Trump has VOICE, the so-called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, a public relations gimmick designed to promote the idea that immigrants are dangerous criminals.

Now, Seattle-area congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and three House colleagues have created the Saved by American Immigrants National Taskforce (SAINT), which 'will collect and share stories of documented and undocumented immigrants who have positively contributed to US society through heroic or life-saving acts.'

Jayapal, along with Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Norma Torres (D-Calif.), and Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), announced the new taskforce on April 26.

'SAINT will provide a direct counterperspective to VOICE, highlighting positivity rather than generating negativity,' they said in a statement.

'President Trump's latest initiative is nothing more than propaganda rooted in falsehoods meant to paint the entire immigrant community with a broad brushstroke,' Jayapal said.

'In reality, without contributions made by immigrants, our nation would fail. I'm proud to join my colleagues in launching this task force to tell stories of the positive impact immigrants have on our nation.'

'Propaganda is dangerous, and that is why we should all be troubled by the new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office,' Polis added.

'Immigrants are not a group to be feared. They are our friends, neighbors, and - sometimes - heroes. I prefer to operate from a place of positivity, and that's what SAINT is all about.'

'This administration wants to perpetuate a stereotype that immigrants are dangerous and something to be feared, but the facts simply don't bear that out. The vast majority of immigrants work hard, pay taxes, and contribute to our communities,' said Torres, who is also a co-chair of the New Americans Caucus.

'This is why I'm joining Reps. Polis and Jayapal in launching SAINT to counter the false narrative and share the countless, untold positive stories of immigrants in this country.'

'Folks in LA know - immigrants make our communities stronger,' Cárdenas said.

'We see day in and day out the positive impacts they have in our community and on our economy, and it's past time we highlight their stories. In an atmosphere of hate and mistrust, now more than ever, I'm proud to highlight the voices and actions of immigrants.'

Data indicate that foreign-born Americans are far less likely than the native-born to commit crimes. According to the US Census Bureau, from 1980 through 2010 male non-citizens between the ages of 18 to 49 were one-fifth to one-half as likely to be incarcerated for a crime.

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