President Donald Trump’s new “illegal alien” crime hotline is being overloaded by hoax calls from trolls who are reporting crimes committed by space aliens.
The Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) hotline, which was ordered by Trump in January, is managed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency under the Department of Homeland Security and was launched on Wednesday. The aim of the service, according to the government, is to “serve the needs of crime victims and their families who have been impacted by crimes committed by removable criminal aliens.”
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that victims of such crime were “too often ignored.”
“They are casualties of crimes that should never have taken place because the people who victimized them often times should not have been in the country in the first place,” he told reporters at the launch.
Human rights group reacted by openly criticized the administration for stigmatizing both legal and undocumented immigrants citing research that shows “high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime.”
Online, however, a different kind of protest started as caller started reporting criminal activity of the extra-terrestrial kind.
The # for Trump's hotline to report "criminal aliens" is 855-48-VOICE
Please do not call this number to describe plots of X-Files episodes.
— Jenova's Witness (@dubsteppenwolf) April 27, 2017
Hijacking the hashtag #AlienDay, which was already trending in relation to the iconic sci-fi horror franchise, word spread quickly.
RT: Call Trump's hateful hotline at 1-855-48-VOICE and keep telling him about "alien" crimes. Martians et al. Open 8am-8pm EST #AlienDay
— Katy Otto (@exfkaty) April 27, 2017
By Wednesday evening Twitter users began to report long wait times, as the new hotline was inundated with prank callers. The reaction of an ICE official indicates that the service was significantly impacted by the action.
“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 unimpressed government spokesperson said to BuzzFeed.
The president’s attempt to enforce strong immigration policy, which proved a major theme from early in his election campaign, has been repeatedly frustrated by legal and political opposition. Trump’s infamous travel ban was blocked by federal courts and Congress are hesitating to fund his Mexico border wall.