Even the Immigrant Crime Office Admits That Trump’s Scaremongering Is Nonsense

In declaring his intent to seek the presidency, Donald Trump gave a notorious speech in which he made his feelings about Latino immigrants clear: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

This became the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign and remains a major platform point today. But do these claims hold any water?

No doubt hoping to please his immigrant hardliner base, Immigration and Customs Enforcement opened a new office dedicated to tracking crimes committed by immigrants at the direction of the Trump administration. Named Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, or VOICE, this new office was a thinly veiled attempt to use federal resources to bolster Trump’s baseless anti-immigration rhetoric.

With the first VOICE report now released, has Trump been vindicated? No, not even remotely.

Individuals victimized in some way by an immigrant were encouraged to contact a VOICE hotline to make a report and seek assistance if needed. Since opening in April 2017, VOICE has fielded 4,602 calls. But how many were actually in relation to instances of Americans being victimized by immigrants? Turns out that less than 11 percent — only about 500 — of the calls made were relevant to the hotline’s purpose.

Of course, a number of other callers had rather different reasons for calling. Some wanted to report UFOs, while in one case someone tried to report Melania Trump for stealing taxpayer dollars. Many simply wanted to give ICE a piece of their mind.

To be fair, 972 calls reported a crime — and as such, were redirected to a different ICE office by VOICE operators; but even adding this to the count, more than a year’s worth of calls have amounted to stunningly little. The hotline certainly failed to give any weight to Trump’s tirades about rampant immigrant crime in the United States — and, if anything, the VOICE report dramatically rebukes these patently false slanders.

The supposed link between immigrants and crime is hardly a new argument in the United States. But, just as has always been the case, it is little more than a myth. And despite being routinely debunked, it’s still gleefully parroted by jingoists and xenophobes today.

The fact is that immigrants in the United States are not any more likely than those born within the country to commit crime. In fact, some studies have shown that immigrants may actually commit fewer crimes than their native neighbors.

But statistics, data and years of expert analysis mean little to a president and a supporter base that does not simply view Latino immigrants as dangerous — they actively desire to hold and reinforce such a worldview. With VOICE failing to live up to these expectations, it would be little surprise to see it quietly disbanded in a future executive order, as was the case with Trump’s failed voter fraud office.

Not unlike VOICE, the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was formed per executive order with the aim of uncovering widespread instances of voter fraud during the 2016 election. This office was quite clearly meant to uncover evidence to prop up Trump’s repeated — yet evidence-free — claim that millions voted illegally in 2016. According to the president, most of these fraudulent votes came from undocumented immigrants trying to undermine democracy. Of course, the commission found nothing and was shuttered without fanfare not long ago.

Right now the United States appears to be caught in a struggle between gut feeling and rational compassion. Immigrants are neither dangerous nor inclined to commit voter fraud, any more than people born in the U.S. — even the offices created at Trump’s personal order have been forced to agree.

But this isn’t about safety or protecting Americans, it’s about pushing a xenophobic agenda, pure and simple.

Photo Credit: Charles Edward Miller/Flickr

47 comments

Brian F
Brian F5 days ago

Sue L Go to California and see how violent crime is up thanks to illegal immigrants.

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heather g
heather g6 days ago

90% ++ of all terrorist crime in the US, including school shootings killing many, are undertaken by fellow Americans. You should know that and not blame immigrants.

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Sue L
Sue L7 days ago

Trump appeals to the worst kind of people. Immigrants are our neighbors, trying to build a better life. We need them to perform jobs many Americans are unwilling to do. They are so desperate to be here they endure more than most people will just to try to find a piece of the American Dream. Those seeking asylum want a better life. They are mostly decent people. You will have a few rotten apples, but that is the same with any group. Trump's fear-mongering about the dangers of immigrants is a play straight out of Hitler's book.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini7 days ago

David F
Check which UN treaties have been signed and ratified by the U.S. before you say they don't count in your country. You maybe in for a surprise.

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Brian F
Brian F7 days ago

MSNBC and CNN both lied about the Iraq war, but the corporate fake Democrats here beleive what they say about Russia. These people are extremely dishonest.

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Winn A
Winn A7 days ago

No kidding!!!!!!!!

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Peggy B
Peggy B7 days ago

Noted

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Shirley P
Shirley Plowman7 days ago

ABSOLUTELY, REALITY IS THE TRUTH, AND WE ALL ARE WITNESSING IT.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E8 days ago

brian f
Get a clue !! If you find two, give one to david f.
You don't know the meaning of "open borders" do you !!!
Find out before you post even more drivel ..

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Susanne R
Susanne R8 days ago

It's become so easy to identify the followers of Fox entertainment news. While they're happily being entertained and hearing what they want to believe, the rest of us are seeing real video footage of actual events and hearing real reporters describing what's right before our eyes. I'd rather be aware of the ugly realities that we need to deal with than live in a fool's paradise.

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