SAN DIEGO (June 11, 2021) — The Biden administration said Friday it has dismantled a Trump-era government office to help victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.
Trump created the Victim Of Immigration Crime Engagement Office, known by its acronym VOICE, by executive order during his first week in office in January 2017.
In making the announcement, the Biden administration said it would be replacing VOICE with a different program called The Victims Engagement and Services Line. According to the Associated Press, it would, among other things, help illegal immigrants who claim they have been abused and mistreated in immigration detention centers. It would also help these people get lawyers.
Stephen Miller, a key architect of Trump’s immigration policies, called the decision to close VOICE a “moral stain on the conscience of our nation."
He likened the new office to the Drug Enforcement Administration 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," Miller said.
During his time in office, former President Trump invited “angel families” — people whose loved ones had been victims of crimes by illegals — to campaign rallies and high-profile speeches.
“I’ve had to hold the hand of too many mothers 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,” Barbara Gonzalez, the then-director of VOICE, told reporters in October 2019. “It is a problem we cannot ignore as a country.
In April, the Biden administration ordered U.S. officials to avoid using terms like “illegal alien” and instead use the phrase “undocumented noncitizen.”