President Trump’s speech to Congress Tuesday was notable for its more positive “tone” and his use of a slain Navy SEAL’s widow to cover the fact that he is taking no responsibility for the raid in which the SEAL was killed. These headlines diverted attention from Trump’s most odious, frightening and fascist-like proposal—an office of Victims Of Immigrant Crime Engagement or VOICE.
When Trump first introduced VOICE, a bit of a gasp from Democratic (and at least a few Republicans) could be heard in the joint gathering of the House and Senate. People across the country likely let out a collective grown.
Is this guy for real? Is he really setting up a separate law enforcement entity to single out one segment of our society? It’s important to note that the new office is not the office of “Victims Of Illegal Immigrant Crime Engagement. He makes no distinction between immigrants and illegal immigrants, at least in the name.
Trump, with white nationalist, Muslim-hating advisor Steve Bannon and Stephen “the president’s authority will not be questioned” Miller, has made it clear he is targeting immigrants, plain and simple. He invited family members of victims of violence by people who happened to be in the country illegally to his address. It smacked of his stunt when he invited the alleged sexual harassment victims to the Trump – Hillary Clinton debate.
Just what exactly will VOICE do? Are victims of crime by people in the country illegally get extra services? A visit to the White House? Lunch with Jared? And what about the families of victims of terrorism by people who are citizens of this country (see: Charleston, Boston, Orlando, Oak Creek (Wisconsin), etc.)? Do they not get the Trump embrace because their perpetrators were from this country?
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) was aghast, “Especially this VOICE program, I find horrifying,” Duckworth told CNN. “And for him to bring guests who suffered such tragedies, but to use it as a political point when it comes to undocumented immigrants, is sad. I wish he would have — he touched on DREAMers a little bit — but really no real discussion about he was going to go about doing this other than build more walls.”
Earlier in the day Tuesday, White House officials floated the idea that Trump may be open to a compromise that would allow Dreamers—children of illegal immigrants who came to this country as young children—to stay. But no such proposal made into the address.