During his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump promised the American people an office dedicated exclusively to helping those who are victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. The office, which is called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE), finally opened this week. A hotline number was tweeted out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and it wasn’t long until things got weird. Here’s what went down as soon as the hotline made it’s way to the Internet.
On Wednesday, April 26, the Department of Homeland Security opened their new office for victims of crime by undocumented immigrants.
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) April 26, 2017
To be clear, this is not a service where people can report a crime. It is just a place for victims to receive support.
.@DHSgov This is not a hotline to report crime. To report crime, please contact your local law enforcement agency or call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE
— ICE (@ICEgov) April 26, 2017
It does make you question why they even set up a crime system if it is not for reporting crime. According to the DHS website, the services a victim can expect are:
- Local contacts to help with unique victim requests.
- Access to social service professionals able to refer victims to resources and service providers.
- Assistance signing-up to receive automated custody status information.
- Additional criminal or immigration history may be available about an illegal alien to victims or their families.
Of course, Twitter had a lot to say about VOICE and the use of “illegal alien.” They did not hold back.
Trumps’ “VOICE” Hotline set up for people to report on crime from illegal aliens was reportedly overloaded with calls about space aliens
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) April 26, 2017
Calls. About. Space. Aliens.
People are literally encouraging others to call the hotline to report UFO or alien sightings.
In case you want to share your X-Files fan fiction with DHS…
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) April 27, 2017
ICE has denied that any such calls took place, but their quote to BuzzFeed seems to imply the calls may have happened.
“There are certainly more constructive ways to make one’s opinions heard than to prevent legitimate victims of crime from receiving the information and resources they seek because the lines are tied up by hoax callers,” an ICE spokesperson told BuzzFeed.