VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement) is a new initiative created by the Trump administration to give support to the victims of crimes by illegal immigrants. Its purpose and operation are described in the DHS memorandum titled “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” released on February 20, 2017.
The initiative has been announced by President Donal Trump in numerous speeches including his latest address to Congress. In this particular venue, the President also invited one of the victims of illegal immigrants.
According to the DHS memorandum, criminal aliens routinely victimize Americans and other legal residents. These victims were not provided adequate information about the offender. Data like the offender’s immigration status and the actions taken by ICE against the offender are not disclosed. Previously ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) could not engage these victims because of certain Privacy Act protections.
This left the victims marginalized since they were not able to give a voice to their concerns and their stories. No real coverage was granted to them from any source including the media.
Giving a Voice to the Victims
This new office called VOICE has been created within ICE to service the victims. Part its service is also to allow the victims to chronicle the crimes they have suffered by talking before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The new VOICE office will be a major player in legal litigation where families have suffered crimes committed by illegal aliens.
This is the purpose of the office as stated in the above-mentioned memorandum:
“…will create a programmatic liaison between ICE and the known victims of crimes committed by removable aliens. The liaison will facilitate engagement with the victims and their families to ensure, to the extent permitted by law, that they are provided information about the offender, including the offender’s immigration status and custody status, and that their questions and concerns regarding immigration enforcement efforts are addressed.”
Even more significant, the resources for creating VOICE have been reallocated from previous ICE services that advocated on behalf of illegal aliens. Now ICE will provide to illegal aliens only the basic services required to comply with a judicial order.