Polis counters Trump’s call for a new office to investigate immigrants who commit crime
Today, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., announced that he is planning to start the Saved by American Immigrants National Taskforce or “SAINT” to collect stories of immigrants - both documented and undocumented - who have positively contributed to U.S. society through heroic or lifesaving acts. There are many Americans who are alive today only because of the heroic acts of immigrants who saved their lives. Watch the complete announcement here.
Polis started the taskforce in response to President Trump’s announcement in his Joint Address that he would create the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office, or VOICE.
“President Trump was wrong when he insinuated immigrants are a greater threat to public safety than American citizens. This fear is misplaced and perpetuated by ‘alternative facts’ or lies. In actuality, immigrants are much less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States. The truth is that hard working immigrants help vitalize our economy at home and bolster our global competitiveness. We are strongest as a nation, when we embrace our diversity,” Polis said.
According to census data gathered between 1980 and 2010, noncitizens between 18 to 49 years of age were one-half to one-fifth less likely to be in prison for a crime.
Furthermore, a study released by the University of California-San Diego last Thursday, clearly found that immigrant-friendly communities are both safer and more economically vibrant.
Polis cited several news stories where immigrants have saved lives:
Since joining Congress in 2008, Polis has been a champion for fixing our broken immigration system to align with American values. In October 2013, he introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, a bill that would have improved national security, streamlined our country’s guest worker system, and created a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented individuals. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would have reduced the deficit by nearly $200 billion over ten years. The Senate companion of this landmark bill passed in June 2013 and was widely heralded as one of the most significant attempts at comprehensive immigration reform in decades. He is also the co-chair of the Congressional Mexico Friendship Caucus.
Prior to serving in Congress, Polis founded The New America School - a network of charter schools in several states serving new immigrants and English-language learners.