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Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office

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Toll Free Hotline
1-855-48-VOICE

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) established the Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office to acknowledge and serve the needs of crime victims and their families who have been affected by crimes committed by individuals with a nexus to immigration.

This office was explicitly called for in the President’s Executive Order titled, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” dated January 25, 2017.

***ICE may not be able to provide information regarding certain offenders to victims of a crime with a nexus to immigration due to the information being protected by policy or law. ***

Mission Statement

With honor and integrity, we will support victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens through access to information and resources.

Objectives

  1. Use a victim-centered approach to acknowledge and support immigration crime victims and their families.
  2. Promote awareness of rights and services available to immigration crime victims.
  3. Build collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders assisting immigration crime victims.
  4. Provide quarterly reports studying the effects of the victimization by criminal aliens present in the United States.

The men and women comprising the VOICE Office will be guided by a singular, straightforward mission – to ensure victims and their families have access to releasable information about a perpetrator and to offer assistance explaining the immigration removal process. ICE wants to ensure those victimized by criminal aliens feel heard, seen and supported.

Types of Support Available

  • Dedicated toll-free VOICE Hotline to answer questions from victims (1-855-48-VOICE).
    *This is not a hotline to report crime. To report crime, please contact your local law enforcement agency or call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
  • Assistance signing-up to receive automated custody status information about an alien in custody (DHS-VINE);
  • Additional criminal or immigration history may be available about an alien to victims or their families;
  • Local contacts to help with unique victims’ requests, and
  • Access to skilled social science professionals available to refer victims to appropriate services.

Who can VOICE help?

  • A victim of crime(s);
  • A witness of crime(s);
  • An individual with a legal responsibility to act on behalf of a victim or witness (e.g., attorneys, parents, legal guardians, etc.); or
  • Individuals acting at the request of a victim or witness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ICE VOICE Office?

The Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE) was established to fulfill President Trump’s commitment to help people affected by criminal activity perpetrated by criminal aliens.

Who is considered a victim of immigration crime?

Any person who is affected by criminal activity allegedly perpetrated by criminal aliens in the United States. Information will be provided to victims, witnesses, any individual with a legal responsibility to act on behalf of a victim or witness (e.g., attorneys, parents, legal guardians, etc.), and individuals acting at the request of a victim or witness.

What is DHS VINE? How does it work? Are you collecting my personal information?

The Victim Information and Notification Exchange (VINE) is a system used throughout the nation to automatically notify certain individuals about changes to custody status and other information. Individuals eligible to receive custody status notifications are victims and witnesses associated with criminal aliens charged or convicted of a crime, victim advocates, who are individuals with a legal responsibility to act on behalf of a victim or witness (e.g., attorneys, parents, legal guardians), and individuals acting at the request of a victim or witness.

Specifically, DHS’ VINE system (DHS-VINE) will allow registrants to directly register for custodial status notifications via a Web interface. It will also transfer eligible registrant data from state VINE databases to ensure those individuals who registered with state VINE continue to receive custody status updates once a criminal alien is transferred from state to ICE custody. State VINE databases are automated notification systems that provide victims and their families with up-to-date offender information such as custody status changes and criminal case information.

DHS-VINE will automatically notify eligible registrants by phone, text message, and/or email of changes to a criminal alien’s custody status with ICE once the criminal alien has been taken into ICE custody. These notifications will indicate that the individual has either been booked into ICE custody or out of ICE custody (specifying whether the individual was released from custody or removed from the United States).  The solution is offered free of charge to registrants, is anonymous, available 24/7/365 and features multiple language support functions. The solution provides users with the information they need to feel secure, and enables governing staff to focus on their core responsibilities creating a greater, more efficient system.

Why was I told no information was available on the perpetrator?

DHS-VINE provides information regarding criminal aliens who are currently in custody or who may have been recently released from custody. If for any reason you do not find the person for whom you search, please call the VOICE hotline toll-free at 1-855-48-VOICE (1-855-488-6423) or individuals may also check the custody status of an individual via the Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS) on the ICE website.

What services are available to me as a crime victim through VOICE

VOICE will afford victims and their loved ones a single point of contact to obtain information regarding criminal aliens in ICE custody. That could include getting automated custody status information, getting additional releasable case history about the perpetrator, or having an ICE representative explain the immigration enforcement and removal process.

How do I report criminal activity by aliens?

Regardless of the identity of the perpetrator, all criminal activity should be reported to local law enforcement. Individuals across the world can report suspicious criminal activity to the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tip Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Highly trained specialists take reports from both the public and law enforcement agencies. Call 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) (from U.S. and Canada). TTY for hearing impaired only: || TTY para personas con discapacidad auditiva solamente: (802) 872-6196 Call 802-872-6199 (from other locations around the globe) Criminal activity may also be reported via an online form.

Do I need to register as a victim to receive information through VOICE?

Yes. Registration is simple and may be done anonymously. ICE will make every effort to keep victims and witnesses advised of the release status of the offender. Registered victims and witnesses will be advised when the criminal alien is released from custody or removed.

Can I find out where a criminal alien is being held?

Yes. The VOICE office can provide registered victims and witnesses with detainee location data through ICE Enforcement and Removal Operation’s (ERO) Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS). Victims may also access the link directly on the front page of ICE.gov by clicking here.

How are immigration cases tracked? What is an “A-Number”?

Within the ICE tracking system, an A-Number (short for Alien Registration Number) is used to track immigration cases. The A-Number is the nine-digit identifying number that is assigned to a person during immigration benefits or enforcement proceedings. The A-Number can be found in the top right corner of the Notice to Appear (NTA), Form I-862. Individuals may also obtain information about a case before the immigration courts by contacting the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) automated case information line at 1-800-898-7180.

If I call the VOICE office, what services or resources will I receive?

ICE has established a toll-free hotline 1-855-48-VOICE (1-855-488-6423) staffed with operators who can guide victims to information or contacts they need as well as assistance signing up to receive automated custody status information about a criminal alien in custody. The VOICE office will also be able to direct victims/families to the DHS Victim Information Notification Exchange (DHS-VINE) system for notification of custody changes throughout the course of the individual’s criminal and/or immigration case. The VOICE office will use ICE’s community relations officers as a local contact to help victims with whatever other information or explanation of processes they may need.

Will this office assist illegal aliens who request help?

Data collected by the agency is focused on the records of those ICE arrests or removes, not on victims. ICE will not inquire as to a victim’s immigration status through VOICE.

What is the cost of this office? And how is it being funded?

ICE is currently using existing resources to fund the functions of the office. When additional resource needs are identified, ICE will seek appropriated funds as necessary.

How do ICE’s community relations officers support the VOICE office?

ICE’s 21 community relations officers were hired specifically for their skills and experience working with community stakeholders. VOICE is one part of their duties that also include liaising with members of the public, law enforcement, local government and other stakeholders interested in ICE activities. Community relations officers will interact with victims and their families, just like any other stakeholder group, and provide access to information or answer questions about the immigration process.

Important Links

DHS Victim Information Notification Exchange (DHS-VINE)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prioritizes the safety of victims who have been affected by crimes.  To ensure that victims remain informed about the custody status of their alien offenders, DHS has created the Victim Information Notification Exchange (DHS-VINE).

DHS-VINE is free, anonymous, and timely custody status notification service.

  • Eligible registrants include:
    • Victims of crimes
    • Witnesses of crimes
    • Individuals with a legal responsibility to act on behalf of a victim (e.g., attorneys, parents, legal guardians)
    • Individuals acting at the request of a victim or a witness
  • Eligible registrants receive notifications when their offender is:
    • Taken into ICE custody
    • Released from ICE custody
    • Removed from the U.S.
  • Registrants receive notifications via:
    • Phone Call
    • Text Message
    • Email

 

 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/09/2018