ICE Hotline Plagued by Prank Calls About Extraterrestrials
Alex McCoy, 28, a former Marine Corps sergeant and a founder of the Common Defense political action committee, recently began a movement on Twitter encouraging people to prank call the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) hotline. The hotline, which aims to provide public information and resources to the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, has since been flooded with phone calls from people facetiously reporting crimes committed by extraterrestrials.
"I thought this was a chance to push back on how Trump has demonized the immigrant community. [The idea] really took off," McCoy said in an interview with NBC News.
McCoy claims the barrage of prank calls has resulted in 20 minute delays and a temporary interruption in service, but ICE spokesman Bryan Cox denies the calls' effect has been that severe.
"The VOICE line remains in operation," said Cox. "As yesterday was its first day, I can't give you any sense of whether this group had any impact at all on wait times or call volume, because there's no prior data to compare.
In addition to the denial, Cox has released a statement voicing his displeasure in the attempted sabotage.
"The VOICE Office provides information to citizens and non-citizens alike regardless of status, race, etc., whose loved ones have been killed or injured by removable aliens. VOICE provides access to the same information you and other reporters are already able to obtain. Yet this group claims it’s somehow racist to give the same to victims of all races and nationalities? That is absurd.
Further, openly obstructing and mocking victims crosses the line of legitimate public discourse. VOICE is a line for victims to obtain information. This group’s stunt is designed to harm victims. That is shameful."
McCoy also released a statement in response, promising to continue his efforts to disrupt the agency's hotline.
"What is truly beyond the pale is this illegitimate administration’s attempts to use government offices to promote bigotry, spread fear, and divide our nation. The American people are speaking out and making our voices heard that we will not tolerate an office of racist propaganda exploiting the grief of victims of crime.
Those victims are entitled to support and justice. VOICE provides neither, it merely collects stories to slander my neighbors, my friends, people who I served honorably alongside in the United States Marine Corps. Calling to report a UFO is absurd, but no more absurd than this unacceptable, un-American program, and we will not stop until it is shut down."
It is unclear, what, if any, effect these calls will have on the agency's efforts to curtail crime committed by 'removable aliens,' but they will undoubtedly do little to promote the idea of reporting a UFO as anything less than, as McCoy puts it, 'absurd.'