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Commentary

Biden Administration Dismantles Trump-Era Agency to Help Victims of Immigrant Crime, Replaces It with Office That Will Help Illegal Aliens

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The Biden administration continued its crusade Friday against firm immigration enforcement mechanisms leftover from the Trump era, gutting a program intended to aid American victims of illegal immigrant crime.

According to The Associated Press, former President Donald Trump’s Victim Of Immigration Crime Engagement Office will soon be disbanded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security arm under which it had operated since its establishment by executive action January 2017.

In its place will be The Victims Engagement and Services Line, which will reportedly perform similar functions, but shift focus to serve as a reporting mechanism for illegal migrants abused or otherwise mistreated amid their detention. The new office will also devote resources to visa procurement aid and helping arrested migrants get in contact with lawyers and sponsors.

“Providing assistance to society’s most vulnerable is a core American value,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

“All people, regardless of their immigration status, should be able to access victim services without fear.”

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Widely heralded as a victory on the progressive left, the move “symbolizes President Joe Biden’s rejection of former President Donald Trump’s repeated efforts to link immigrants to crime,” in the words of the AP.

Of course, the goal of the Trump administration was never to unfairly tie immigrants to crime, at least in terms of policy. The former president’s rhetoric was rarely clear or helpful on that front.

Do you think victims of immigrant crime deserve more support from the U.S. government?

But there remains no question that the administration’s policy with regard to H-1B visas and other modes of legal immigration revealed sympathy toward the simple and proper assimilation of skilled laborers.

It was illegal immigration that the administration and its executive leadership took issue with. Trump was nothing if not clear with regard to what he believed on that front.

He showed the American people who he was on that issue the moment he stepped into the 2016 Republican presidential primary, blowing the whistle on the social implications of an undocumented and invisible population in the millions — the lack of fairness in a system that had seen American citizens, natural-born or otherwise, hurt by drugs and gangs trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border.

A focus on that last issue was, in fact, the reason Trump set out to create the VOICE office in the first place. The former president had on the campaign trail become closely intertwined with America’s angel families — the mother, fathers and siblings of those killed or victimized by those residing within the country illegally. Such individuals had been invited on stage with Trump at rallies and formal events following his election.

When ICE eventually opened a specific door to serve them, however, it was infrequently used, with so few as 781 calls made to the department in the final quarter of 2018.

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Official data suggests only 256 of those calls actually sought services the VOICE office provided; another potential reason for the Biden administration to move in another direction.

But since when has the American left cared about wasteful expenditures? The Biden administration just forwarded a record-high federal budget and, as Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky often points out in his annual government waste report, the state spends thousands on cheese experiments and exorbitant programs for the moderns “arts.”

At least the VOICE office was working to make whole those the U.S. government utterly failed with relaxed border and immigration enforcement, however few they may be.

The decision to simply roll their concerns in with the rest of America’s failed immigration apparatus is a slap in the face, especially in an effort to provide more services to illegal migrants — migrants the Biden administration has done nothing by incentivizing with promises of mass amnesty.

And it appears those incentives are working.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data released Wednesday, 2021 has seen more border encounters than any of the last four years. With 180,000 encounters recorded in May, the month was worse for illegal immigration than any in 2019, a year colored by migrant caravan travel in South and Central America.

With these already inflated numbers showing no signs of stopping, however, the decision to choose processing foreign criminals over supporting American victims is a slap in the face. A loud, humiliating one.

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Andrew J. Sciascia is the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia is the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He has since covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal, and now focuses his reporting on Congress and the national campaign trail. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.




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