On Tuesday, DHS Sec. Kelly issued an immigration memo shifting the U.S. government’s efforts and resources away from defending illegal aliens to helping their victims.
The memo creates the “Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement” (VOICE) office, which will act as “liaison between ICE and the known victims of crimes committed by removable aliens.”
VOICE will address victims’ concerns and provide information regarding the enforcement actions and immigration status of the perpetrator.
D. Establishing the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office
“Criminal aliens routinely victimize Americans and other legal residents. Often, these victims are not provided adequate information about the offender, the offender's immigration status, or any enforcement action taken by ICE against the offender. Efforts by ICE to engage these victims have been hampered by prior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy extending certain Privacy Act protections to persons other than U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, leaving victims feeling marginalized and without a voice. Accordingly, I am establishing the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office within the Office of the Director of ICE, which 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.”
The memo also reallocates “any and all resources” currently used to advocate for illegal aliens and terminates “outreach and advocacy services” provided to them:
“To that end, I direct the Director of ICE to immediately reallocate any and all resources that are currently used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens (except as necessary to comply with a judicial order) to the new VOICE Office, and to immediately terminate the provision of such outreach or advocacy services to illegal aliens.”
The plight of the victims of criminal illegal aliens attracted national attention in recent years due to the murder of 32-year-old Californian Kate Steinle by an illegal alien with multiple felony convictions who had been deported five times previously. Steinle’s parents have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco, a sanctuary city.
Taxpayer funding and government support of illegal aliens has also drawn public scrutiny:
- In the past two years, the Obama Administration spent $9 million of taxpayer money to provide attorneys to illegal aliens.
- DHS had previously offered hotlines to help illegal aliens seeking executive amnesty and enable complaints against those seeking to enforce U.S. immigration law, and even opened an illegal alien advocate office.
- Even today, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) still advertises safe zones (“sensitive locations”) – such as school bus stops, health clinics and parades - where illegal aliens will be free from enforcement actions.