Demonizing unauthorized immigrants

What you heard:

Trump announced the creation of VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement) at his speech on Tuesday night.

What it is:

Since we’re on acronyms today, Trump is a Truly Revolting dUngheap of Mammoth Proportion.

The VOICE program will create an office to identify victims of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants. This supplements the executive order he signed last month that directed the Department of Homeland Security to maintain and publish a “comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens” – aka sanctuary cities. It will also raise my blood pressure to dangerous levels and cause me to scream internally at its very mention.

The TR dUngheap of MP was addressing a joint session of Congress. These speeches are usually given by presidents to advance and garner support for their initiatives. It’s common for a president to address Congress early in his term with a more detailed look at their policy goals than is typically given in the more general terms of an inaugural address.

What it means:

The assault on unauthorized immigrants continues. Instead of focusing on things that actually reduce crime rates, like background checks for gun purchases or reforming the way those addicted to drugs move through the justice system, the administration will continue to demonize people based on their skin color or religion. Save the “oh it applies to unauthorized white Christian immigrants too” line – that’s bullshit and we all know it.

It also means that the administration will be ignoring all evidence stating immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than American citizens. Per the New York Times: “… among men ages 18 to 49, immigrants were one-half to one-fifth as likely to be incarcerated as those born in the United States. Across all ages and sexes, about 7 percent of the nation’s population are noncitizens, while figures from the Justice Department show that about 5 percent of inmates in state and federal prisons are noncitizens.”

What could happen:

Such demonization of a certain group of people increases hostility against those people. Here’s what this type of demonization can make a man do:

August 2012: He walks into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI, and shoots 10 people (killing 6). He first became radicalized on a US Army base, where he participated in neo-Nazi activities.

April 2014: He walks into a Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, KS, and shoots three people (killing all three). He first became radicalized by the ideas published in the Thunderbolt, a newspaper produced by a white supremacist party, and later led the regional White Patriot Party (a KKK affiliate).

June 2015: He walks into an African-American church in Charleston, SC, and shoots 12 people (killing 9). He first became radicalized by the CCC (Council of Conservative Citizens) site, one that advocates white supremacy and warns of an upcoming “white genocide”.

February 2017: He walks into a bar in Olathe, OK and shoots two Indian engineers (killing one), while yelling “Get out of my country!” There is no public statement yet on what he was first radicalized by, but would anyone be surprised to hear that the increasingly hostile rhetoric issuing from the nation’s highest office contributed to his fanaticism?

The only thing that comes from demonizing a group of people, based solely on the violent actions of a few people who share their skin color or religion, is more violence.

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