Immigration Customs and Enforcement officials will now have their work cut out for them thanks to the newly unveiled branch called VOICE – the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office. The Trump administration launched it to “serve the needs of crime victims and their families who have been impacted by crimes committed by removable criminal aliens.”
The Trump administration created the branch as a solution.
In February, President Donald Trump spoke to Congress and vowed to “[provide] a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”
According to the VOICE website, there is also a toll-free hotline.
People who have experienced a crime committed by an undocumented immigrant can call in for four different kind of services. Certain individuals can now receive updates on custody status of an undocumented immigrant.
There will also be additional criminal or immigration history information available. People can also find local contacts for specific cases along with access to professionals who can refer them to other services.
In a press release, John Kelly, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, gave his approval.
“All crime is terrible, but these victims are unique – and too often ignored,” he said. “They are casualties of crimes that should never have taken place – because the people who victimized them often time should not have been in the country in the first place.”
But there are others who believe VOICE won’t benefit anyone.
“The VOICE program won’t do anything to increase public safety,” Carl Lipscombe, Deputy Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, told Fusion. “Rather, like all of this administration’s immigration programs, it will serve as another vehicle for those with nationalist, xenophobic tendencies to criminalize and spread fear amongst immigration families and communities.”
Despite the creation of this branch, data shows that an increase of immigration is associated with lower crime rates.