The Trump administration unveiled a new, controversial hotline for the victims, and families of victims, of crime committed by undocumented immigrants.
According the New York Times, Homeland Security announced on Wednesday, the office, called The Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) is the next step to follow through on Donald Trump's campaign pledges to aggressivley crack down on illegal immigration.
The secretary of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly said, 'All crime is terrible, but these victims are unique — and too often ignored...These are casualties of crimes that should never have taken place because the people who victimised them oftentimes should not have been in the country in the first place.'
Despite evidence suggesting illegal immigrants are half to a fifth less likely to commit crimes than American-born citizens and the critical thinking that the fearmongering, scapegoating and othering of illegal immigrants is racist and could lead to an increase in hate crimes, the Trump administration have gone ahead with their plans.
Thankfully, after the line was launched for people to call in about illegal aliens, this smart (and silly) cookie over on Twitter decided to take the call to action as literally as possible.
Alexander McCoy spoke to Buzzfeed about his cunning plan. He told them he is a member of the activist group Common Defense and that the idea occurred to him since #AlienDay (a reference to the movie Alien) was trending, he figureed it would , 'be a catchy way to fight back against the Trump administration's use of bigoted language and racist stereotypes of criminality.
'I think it's powerful to see the response there's been. I think there are a lot of people who have been searching for something they can do to speak out, and I'm glad that so many people are showing solidarity with the immigrant community.'
And by George did people do it.
Some people took the opportunity to use it as an oh-so-subtly veiled dig at you-know-who.
Hmmm, who could they be talking about...?
Other people didn't even go the route of aliens at all, and just took the opportunity to report some crime or order some food.
This guy detailed his whole convo for our pleasure.
It should be noted, however, that the line is not actually to report illegal immigrants, but a support line for victims of illegal immigrant crime, though it unclear what form the support takes.
Fusion reached out to an ICE official for a comment on the office and the prank calls and they responded saying:
The VOICE line remains in operation. As yesterday was its first day I can't give you any sense of whether this group had any impact at all on wait times or call volume because there's no prior data to compare. I hope you won't dignify this group with the attention they are seeking. But if you choose to do so...this group's cheap publicity stunt is beyond the pale of legitimate public discourse. Their actions seek to obstruct and do harm to crime victims; that's objectively despicable regardless of one's views on immigration policy. The VOICE Office provides information to citizens and non-citizens alike regardless of status, race, etc., whose loved ones have been killed or injured by removable aliens. VOICE provides access to the same information you and other reporters are already able to obtain. Yet this group claims it's somehow racist to give the same to victims of all races and nationalities? That is absurd. Further, openly obstructing and mocking victims crosses the line of legitimate public discourse. VOICE is a line for victims to obtain information. This group's stunt is designed to harm victims. That is shameful.
Though we understand where the ICE officer is coming from, could it not also be said creating a hotline specifically targeted towards illegal immigrants is equally, if not more shameful?
We might suggest a victim support line that highlights the importance of victim care and doesn't push an agenda demonising an entire swathe of largely innocent people.