The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Wednesday the launch of a new office for victims of Illegal immigrant crime. DHS officials said that the office was built strongly relying on information provided by those impacted by crime.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE)will assist those victimized by crimes committed by criminal aliens. The ICE office was built in response to the Executive Order entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”, which directed DHS to create the office to offer support for those who have been victimized.
“All crime is terrible, but these victims are unique—and too often ignored,” said Secretary Kelly. “They are casualties of crimes that should never have taken place—because the people who victimized them often times should not have been in the country in the first place.
The types of assistance people impacted by crimes committed by illegal aliens can expect include:
- Local contacts to help with unique victim requests
- ICE community relations officers will serve as a local representative explaining to victims what information is available and to help victims understand the immigration enforcement and removal process.
- Access to social service professionals able to refer victims to resources and service providers
- ICE has a cadre of 27 victim assistance specialists located across the country available to direct victims to a wide range of resources. The victim assistance specialists possess a high degree of specialized victim assistance expertise and training.
- Assistance signing-up to receive automated custody status information
- The DHS-Victim Information and Notification Exchange (DHS-VINE) is an automated service being launched today that will help victims track the immigration custody status of illegal alien perpetrators of crime. More information about DHS-VINE and how to sign-up to receive automated alerts can be found at: https://vinelink.dhs.gov.
- Additional criminal or immigration history may be available about an illegal alien to victims or their families
- ICE will work with requesting individuals to determine what releasable information is available to victims about an alien involved in a crime.
VOICE expects to grow to offer more services over time. Victim information is recorded to determine other needs to best serve the clients.
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