Monday, May 29, 2017

Trump's "Victims of Immigration Crime" Hotline Is as American as It Gets


This April, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the launch of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE). The central feature is a hotline built to "assist victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens" by providing updates on immigrants' removal from the US. The office is transparent in its intent to bolster an atmosphere of anti-immigrant paranoia, and the community response has been laudable -- within hours, the line was rendered unusable as prank callers flooded it with false testimonies. But this hotline is nothing out of the ordinary. A dedicated tip line for reporting migrants already exists, and it predates the Trump Administration by a decade: ICE has maintained a hotline since its inception in 2003. The surveillance of non-white populations is a practice that is etched deeply into US institutions, as is the delegation of this effort to private citizens whenever possible -- with devastating impacts on accountability.

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