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Four Members Of Congress Launch Their Own Task Force To Celebrate Good Acts By Immigrants

(Photo by Julia Wick/LAist)
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On the same day that the Trump administration announced the opening of its Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office, a group of four members of Congress announced its own task force dedicated to celebrating the stories of immigrants who've helped save American lives.

The Saved by American Immigrants National Taskforce (SAINT) will collect and share stories of documented and undocumented immigrants who have positively contributed to U.S. society through heroic or lifesaving acts, according to a press release. SAINT is being spearheaded by Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) along with Jared Polis (D-CO), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). In a joint letter released Wednesday, the four members of Congress wrote that their new task force was "a direct response to President Trump's discriminatory actions."

“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,” Polis said in a statement.

Contrary to claims made by the current administration, immigrants are actually statistically less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States, according to decades of research. “There’s no way I can mess with the numbers to get a different conclusion,” Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, told the New York Times.

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“Folks in LA know—immigrants make our communities stronger,” Rep. Tony 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.”