A legal director with an open borders organization called the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office which will aid the American victims of illegal immigrant crimes “despicable.”
During an interview with 89.3 KPCC, Chris Newman with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network blasted the mere creation of DHS’ Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office, which DHS Secretary John Kelly unveiled this week with American victims.
“Victims are not more harmed or need greater healing when the perpetrator of those crimes are not citizens,” Newman said. “This is clearly not an earnest effort. So you do have to ask what’s going on here. I think it seems pretty clear that this office is designed to gin up fear as part of President Trump’s overall war on non-white immigrants in the United States. I think it’s about, unfortunately, the racist exploitation of grief and tragedy. I think that the office is despicable.”
Newman also said the office was not about illegal immigrant crime victims, but had everything to do with politics.
“It’s not just for people here illegally. I think it’s for the entire foreign born population in the United States,” Newman said. “This is an office that’s designed to … it’s a propaganda office. It’s politically motivated. It has nothing to do with public safety or restorative justice. It has less to do with providing services to victims … it has more to do with spreading fear of the foreign born population in the United States.”
Despite Newman’s claims that VOICE will not offer much help to Americans who have suffered due to illegal immigration, Jessica Vaughn with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) says the office will finally give voice to “marginalized” victims.
“The creation of this office is aimed at supporting people who in the past have been marginalized and also faced real practical difficulties in getting information out of our immigration bureaucracy about the offenders who victimized them or their families,” Vaughn said. “Every law enforcement agency practically has an office for victim advocacy.”
“And I know many of the people who pushed for this office and the struggles they went through trying to get information about what was going to happen to the person who was responsible for their loved one’s death or other crimes that occurred,” Vaughn continued.
Vaughn says that unlike all other law enforcement agencies, before VOICE, there was no route for illegal immigrant crime victims to take.
“ICE had no mechanism to do that. They couldn’t get notifications if people were released, which would be customary from a law enforcement agency,” Vaughn said. “They couldn’t find out what the process was for people’s immigration hearings and things that they were entitled to attend, but couldn’t get information on. That’s the main purpose of this new office is to help them navigate the immigration bureaucracy and get information that they should be able to get about people who caused harm to their family.”#
H/t reader kevin a.
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