In his never-ending campaign to spread xenophobia in order to build support for discriminatory, unnecessary policies, President Donald Trump launched the Victims Of Immigrant Crime Engagement (VOICE) office on Wednesday.
VOICE has set up a hotline to support people "impacted by crimes committed by removable criminal aliens," according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.
But it seems the Trump administration made a huge mistake in terms of not being more specific about what it meant by "aliens."
Immigration rights activists have reportedly been trolling the VOICE hotline by calling in and complaining about crimes committed by extraterrestrials (i.e. space aliens) -- aliens of a different variety than Trump is looking for.
Describing immigrants as "alien" is often considered discriminatory in and of itself, as it perpetuates the notion they are "others" and has inherently negative connotations. This is also why activists and researchers have increasingly stopped using the term "illegal" to describe immigrants, arguing no human being is illegal.
In spite of what Trump and his administration might say, your fellow citizens pose a much greater threat to your safety than people living in the US illegally.
This is not to say immigrants never commit crimes, but the reality does not mesh with Trump's rhetoric or policies.
Critics of VOICE -- and Trump's approach to immigration more generally -- feel what he's doing is blatantly racist and spreads animosity toward nonwhite immigrants.
It's worth remembering Trump began his presidential campaign by referring to undocumented Mexican immigrants as “drug dealers,” “rapists,” “killers” and “murderers.”
The establishment of VOICE is a manifestation of that perspective.
But the facts remain the same: Undocumented immigrants are not responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime in the US.
While we're on this subject, it's a good time to note they aren't all from Mexico either, which Trump is seemingly unaware of.
VOICE is being funded by American tax dollars, and it arguably serves no valuable purpose whatsoever, especially given people are trolling it with calls about space aliens.
Our government's time and the hard-earned money of American taxpayers could definitely be put to much better use.