Created by the Trump administration throughout his first week in office, the Victim Of Immigration Crime Engagement Office, or VOICE, would be followed with what the US Immigration and Customs enforcement called a "more comprehensive and inclusive victim support system."
Replacing VOICE is the The Victims Engagement and Services Line, "which will combine longstanding existing services, such as methods for people to report abuse and mistreatment in immigration detention centers and a notification system for lawyers and others with a vested interest in immigration cases," writes AP.
"The new office will add a service for potential recipients of visas designated for victims of human trafficking or violent crimes in the United States," they maintain.
"Providing assistance to society’s most vulnerable is a core American value. All people, regardless of their immigration status, should be able to access victim services without fear," stated Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
On Twitter Friday, Stephen Miller slammed the choice to close the office, stating "law enforcement is now forced to aid lawmakers."
"This is in addition to all of the free help illegal aliens already get from mega-billionaires, the ACLU & powerful special interests. Americans have become second-class citizens in their own country. And grief-stricken families, mourning loved ones, are the collateral damage," Miller maintained.
Miller stated that opening the new office would be like the DEA opening “a call center to help drug dealers get lawyers and amnesty for their crimes." The Department of Homeland Security “is a law enforcement agency, not a legal help center for criminals and lawbreakers."
While studies suggest immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native-born, Trump relentlessly attempted to set a link. He started his 2016 presidential campaign by portraying Mexicans in the nation illegally as violent criminals and frequently highlighted the MS-13 gang, which was started by Salvadoran immigrants.
To advance his immigration plan, Trump invited “angel families” — people whose loved ones had been victims of crimes by immigrants — to campaign rallies and high-profile speeches.
Trump’s office for victims of violent crimes seems to have had a light impact.
Its most recent quarterly report posted online for the last three months of 2018 announced it fielded 781 calls throughout the three-month period — and that only 256 of the calls pertained to services it offered. About half were requests on the status of immigration cases, and many of the rest were referrals for aid, such as social services to help cope with impacts of domestic violence or assault.