On Wednesday, President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of a new office that will provide support for victims of immigrant-related crimes. The primary component of this office is a newly-launched hotline that "people impacted by crimes committed by illegal aliens" can call for information and resources. Coincidentally, this occured on "Alien Day," an unofficial holiday that is apparently a thing. So naturally, the internet responded by reporting space aliens to the VOICE office, flooding the hotline on its first day of operation.
The Trump administration sees the new office as an important resource for victims of crimes committed by immigrants, people who up until this point have been ignored by the justice system, according to Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly. "They are casualties of crimes that should never have taken place — because the people who victimized them often times should never have been in the country," Kelly said.
But critics see the office as unnecessary since immigrants statistically commit far fewer crimes than native-born Americans. They think the office perpetuates the idea that immigrants are dangerous, a belief that could potentially lead to more hate crimes against immigrant communities. Many also took offense to the language of the proposal, which used the dehumanizing term "alien" to describe human beings who came to American in search of a better life. That's why Twitter users decided to take matters into their own hands to show Trump just how ridiculous they think his new office is.
People from all over the country began calling the hotline to report space aliens and UFOs, and disseminating the VOICE hotline's number online to encourage others to do the same.
Star Wars references were involved.
An "alien" was apparently spotted in the White House.
And some people honestly just couldn't believe the irony.
People apparently stayed on hold with the hotline for quite some time before finally being able to speak with a representative about their fictitious sightings. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that the VOICE hotline was "tied up by hoax callers" throughout the day.
"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 ICE spokesperson said.
The spokesperson noted that the office may "adjust resources" so that the victims the hotline was intended for can receive the support they need.