The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, addressed Congress on Tuesday for the first time.
In his speech he conflated immigration with issues such as national employment rates and crime rates.
By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone.
I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American Victims.
The office is called VOICE --- Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement.
We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.
Trump previously signed an executive order on immigration on 25 January, called Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, section 9b of which reads:
To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary [of Homeland Security] shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public 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.
At present, the link between Voice and this weekly comprehensive list is only through Trump's quote in his address: "I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security".
However, such a list would provide an undue focus on immigrants.
A 2015 study by the pro-immigration, nonprofit American Immigration Council found:
Immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or be behind bars than the native-born, and high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime.
This was found to be true for both legal immigrants and unauthorised immigrants.
In 2016, a study in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology suggested that communities recording significant increases in immigration actually saw reductions in crime, compared to areas with less immigration.
A forty year study by a team of researchers led by the University of Buffalo, published in the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice this year, found that crime rates were lowest in places where immigration levels were highest.
Lead author of Urban Crime Rates and the Changing Face of Immigration: Evidence Across Four Decades, Robert Adelman said:
The results show that immigration does not increase assaults and, in fact, robberies, burglaries, larceny, and murder are lower in places where immigration levels are higher.
The empirical evidence in this study and other related research shows little support for the notion that more immigrants lead to more crime.
It's important to base our public policies on facts and evidence rather than ideologies and baseless claims that demonize particular segments of the U.S. population without any facts to back them up.
In addition, on the wages issue, a major report last autumn from the National Academies of Sciences found that immigrants have “little to no negative effects” on the wages or employment of native-born US workers.
Although it suits his populist political narrative to construe the issue of immigration with those of wages and crime, it appears to many that Donald Trump is founding an agency that will simply stigmatise minorities and sow a division that energises his base.
You could even allege that it is pandering to a false and xenophobic narrative.