Washington: Today,– Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) along with Jared Polis (D-CO), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Pramila Jayapal, (D-WA) announced the start of the Saved by American Immigrants National Taskforce (SAINT). The taskforce will collect and share stories of documented and undocumented immigrants who have positively contributed to U.S. society through heroic or lifesaving acts.
The official launch of SAINT comes on the same day that the Trump administration announced the opening of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office. As originally set forth, SAINT will provide a direct counter-perspective to VOICE, highlighting positivity rather than generating negativity.
“Folks in LA know – immigrants make our communities stronger,” said Rep. Tony Cárdenas. “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.”
“Propaganda is dangerous, and that is why we should all be troubled by the new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office. 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,” said Polis.
“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,” Rep. Norma Torres, who is also a Co-Chair of the New Americans Caucus, said. “This is why I’m joining Reps. Polis, Jayapal, and Cárdenas in launching SAINT to counter the false narrative and share the countless, untold positive stories of immigrants in this country.”
“President Trump’s latest initiative is nothing more than propaganda rooted in falsehoods meant to paint the entire immigrant community with a broad-brush stroke,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal. “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.”
Statistical data indicates that the U.S. foreign-born population is far less likely than U.S. native-born population to commit crimes.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 1980 through 2010 male non-citizens between the ages of 18 to 49 were one-half to one-fifth less likely to be incarcerated for a crime.
Earlier today (April 26, 2017), members of SAINT sent a letter to the entire House of Representatives soliciting further participation in the taskforce, hoping to welcome both Republicans and Democrats.
Read the full letter here.
Top photo from Rep. Cárdenas Instagram account
Rep. Cárdenas speaking to television news in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol