It was announced this week that the Biden administration will dismantle and replace a Trump-era program designed to help victims of crimes perpetrated by illegal immigrants, in a move that further solidifies President Joe Biden’s commitment to reversing his predecessor’s stance on all things related to the border, as Fox News reports.
Established via executive order by former President Donald Trump back in 2017, VOICE (Victim of Immigration Crime Engagement Office) was a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office created, according to the Department of Homeland Security website, “to acknowledge and serve the needs of crime victims and their families who have been affected by crimes committed by individuals under the investigative jurisdiction of ICE.”
Underscoring the driving motivation behind the work done by VOICE back in October of 2019, then-director of the program, Barbara Gonzalez explained, “I’ve had to hold the hand of too many mother who lost a child to a DUI or somebody else who’s been raped by an illegal alien or someone with a nexus to immigration. It is a problem we cannot ignore as a country.”
According to Fox News, the Biden administration intends to replace the program with what it calls the Victims Engagement and Services Line” purportedly designed as a “more comprehensive and inclusive victims support system” permitting reports of crime to be made by anyone, no matter their immigration status.
The new program is meant, among other things, to receive reports of alleged mistreatment at immigration detention centers and to potentially designate visas for those subjected to violent crime or human trafficking within the U.S.
Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the shift saying, according a report from the Associated Press, “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.”
Trump advisor Stephen Miller, who was instrumental in formulating many of the former president’s immigration policies, offered a far less charitable view of the move, calling it a “moral stain on the conscience of our nation,” as Fox News noted.
Miller went on to blast the Biden administration’s clear shift in focus, saying that the Department of Homeland Security “is a law enforcement agency, not a legal help center for criminals and lawbreakers.”
This latest move to prioritize the interests and concerns of those who enter the country illegally over those who are rightfully here is another reminder that the current administration’s mishandling of the migrant crisis gripping the border is probably less a symptom of incompetence, than it is evidence of a larger, more frightening vision for the nation’s future.