Complying with one of Trump’s executive orders, DHS opened the Victims Of Immigrant Crimes Engagement Office or VOICE on April 26. The new office’s hotline was promptly swamped with calls about UFOs, Sasquatch, “an immigrant living in NYC on my tax dollars” (Melania Trump), “an orange colored, toupee wearing alien in a bathrobe has been spotted at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave,” and kidnapping by flying saucer. The callers took advantage of another coincidence that ICE probably didn’t know about: April 26 was the annual observance of #AlienDay – a promotion by the Alien movie franchise. According to Buzzfeed, reporting on Wednesday,
“There are certainly more constructive ways to make one’s opinions heard than to prevent legitimate victims of crime from receiving the information and resources they seek because the lines are tied up by hoax callers,” an ICE spokesperson said.
“We will adjust resources, if necessary, to ensure that the victims for whom this office and hotline is intended get the info and resources they need.”
By Thursday, the story had changed. According to TPM:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied Thursday that a reported wave of prank calls to a hotline for the victims of undocumented immigrant crime had disrupted the hotline.
But some people at ICE were still pretty upset and hadn’t gotten the “deny everything” message. At least according to Fusion: We Asked ICE About the Prank Calls to Their Anti-Immigrant Hotline and They Kind of Lost Their Shit.
As for immigrant crime, BBC notes:
“Opponents of the administration’s policies and rhetoric focusing on immigrants and crime point out that numerous studies have shown immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or be jailed than the native-born population.
“The American Immigration Council says this “holds true for both legal immigrants and the unauthorised, regardless of their country of origin or level of education”.
- People Are Trolling Trump’s New Anti-Immigrant Hotline With Reports Of Space Aliens And The Government Is Not Amused (Buzzfeed, 4/26/17)
- ICE: Our VOICE Hotline ‘Was Not Disrupted’ By Calls About Real Aliens (Talking Points Memo, 4/27/17)
- Callers swamp Trump’s immigration crime hotline with UFO reports (Sacramento Bee, 4/27/17)
- Trump’s immigrant crime hotline trolled with calls about aliens and UFOs (BBC, 4/2/7/17)
- We Asked ICE About the Prank Calls to Their Anti-Immigrant Hotline and They Kind of Lost Their Shit (Fusion, 4/27/17)
- Why April 26 is ‘Alien Day’ and Some of Our Favorite Tweets (Fox News, 4/26/17)