The Launch of Immigrant Report

The Launch of Immigrant Report

 

A key tactic of the current presidency is fear.

Throughout his campaign, Trump rallied support by demonizing those who did not fit into his vision of a “Great America.” His speeches placed blame again and again on the bedrock of our nation: immigrants. He called them criminals and rapists and terrorists and blamed them for violent crime. These accusations are blatantly untrue. Immigrants are statistically less likely to commit a violent crime than native-born Americans. But incendiary statements like, “Countless innocent American lives have been stolen because our politicians have failed in their duty to secure our borders,” are not meant to inform, they are meant to invoke fear.

This fear has one purpose: to validate aggressive action. As President, he has already, in the first week in office, signed orders unprecedented in their scope that target immigrants specifically. When challenged by courts and protests he defended his actions with more fear mongering: “This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe.” Yet the CATO Institute reports that zero Americans have been killed by an immigrant or refugee from the seven countries listed in Trump’s ban. And more tellingly, on January 25th, President Trump signed an executive order that called for the Secretary of Homeland Security to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by “aliens” in sanctuary cities.

These statements and this list are not just to defend past actions; they will be used to disseminate fear and validate even more extreme policy in the future. When our country is tested by a crisis, he will have prepared a document to assign blame, to encourage us to fear our neighbors, and to turn a blind eye to discriminatory policy.

But we will also be prepared. And we will counter his rhetoric with what we know is true: that these immigrants are our neighbors, our friends, our business entrepreneurs, our leaders, our artists, and our community. Every week we will match his publication with one of our own: celebrating the incredible contributions of immigrants. Where he will spread his hate we will spread our own stories – of how immigrants make America great.


Mani Kongo Lukeni

Mani Kongo Lukeni