Remember back in April when the president* launched his official phone bank for the Thought Police, also known as the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) hotline? According to the website, VOICE is supposed to “provide proactive, timely, adequate, and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens.”
Now that we’ve all had a good laugh at just how completely ridiculous that is, let’s talk about what VOICE is and has always been intended for: ratting out “illegals,” or anyone you might want ICE to think might be one. As you can imagine, when it comes to the nature of the thousands of calls that have poured in, that truth really is stranger – and significantly more grim – than fiction.
The website Splinter recently obtained via FOIA request a sizable log of VOICE calls outlining hundreds upon hundreds of Americans using the hotline to exercise petty grievances against strangers, friends, even family members. Here are a few highlights:
Caller requested to report his ex wife that is undocumented as an overstayed on her visa.
Caller requested to report the illegal alien because the illegal alien will not let her see [her] granddaughter.
Caller requested to report an undocumented alien who is accusing him of domestic violence in order to obtain legal status. Caller claims subject is his legal wife.
Caller stated that he wanted to report (2) two people who are using EBT cards to purchase wine and steak in Sacramento (CA). Caller did not have any information on the subjects. Caller wanted to know if he can make a citizens arrest if he sees this happening again.
The list goes on, and on…it’s an incredibly grim reminder of not only how hate-filled so many of your fellow citizens are, but how goddamned cowardly they are, as well.
ICE would like you to believe that there have been many, many calls to the hotline that are in line with the agency’s stated goals, and I don’t doubt that there are. But let’s not pretend that this was ever the point, especially when Splinter was able to obtain internal training materials that make statements explicitly to the contrary, such as claiming the hotline will “will provide a means for persons to report suspected criminal activity.”
But this wouldn’t be a proper Trump debacle if the whole thing wasn’t handled with spectacular incompetence. Little did any of our stool pigeons realize that the information they were offering up to VOICE was at the same time publicly available on the ICE website.
Ready, set…PLOT TWIST!
[A]fter conducting Google searches for some data in that spreadsheet, including local police report numbers provided by callers, we were able to find a second spreadsheet, covering April to mid-August, hosted on the ICE web site…two columns containing intimate personal details—names, cell phone numbers, alleged crimes, addresses, and Social Security numbers—of both callers and the alleged undocumented immigrants they were calling about remained completely unredacted and publicly available. […]
A California woman who asked to remain anonymous contacted the hotline after she said her undocumented Mexican husband sexually molested her 11-year-old daughter. She told Splinter that ICE has contacted her via email about her call, but she said she did not understand how her phone number and police report information were published online. “That’s news to me, they sure didn’t tell me that,” she said. “They told me it was private.” Her husband’s name and work address were also published, and she said she worries for her safety if he finds out that she filed a report with ICE.
It’s tempting to have an extra helping of schadenfreude with your breakfast over these revelations, but the fact of the matter is, this is incredibly dangerous. Despite its odious intentions, anonymity has from the beginning been VOICE’s chief selling point. Whether any given person’s story is true or not, they would never have shared it if they thought they might be discovered, and having their information available online puts them at considerable risk.
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There’s an incredibly fine line between blame and responsibility. On the one hand, this gang of Stasi wannabes who can’t say anything nice ought to keep their fool mouths shut. On the other hand, ICE is putting those same people in harm’s way by violating their commitment to anonymity, and whether you like or agree with them or not, they deserve the same protection under the law as the people they’re trying to get rid of.
It’s just too bad ICE doesn’t see it that way. According to the Splinter report, as of the article’s release, which was three days after they notified ICE of the information leak and a full day after they had linked them to it directly, the information was still available on their website. It would appear that as long as they get their man (or woman, or child, or whatever), they could give a crap about anyone’s personal safety. Like for every other lawless conservative agency hellbent on destroying our government from within, that’s just someone else’s problem.
This was originally posted on Pink Elephants