WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today announced the launch of the Victims Engagement and Services Line (VESL). The Victim Of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office is terminated. The new program will serve as a more comprehensive and inclusive victim support system offered by ICE that will ensure services are offered to all victims regardless of immigration status of the victim or perpetrator. The expanded services provided through VESL will include guidance on available U- and T-visa resources and information about the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blue Campaign to counter human trafficking.
“Providing assistance to society’s most vulnerable is a core American value. All people, regardless of their immigration status, should be able to access victim services without fear,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “This administration is committed to providing a reliable source of information and guidance for all victims irrespective of their status.”
“As a federal law enforcement agency, ICE is committed to serving all victims of crime,” said Acting ICE Director Tae D. Johnson. “Through VESL, ICE is better positioned than ever to uphold this commitment. ICE has never and will never ask those seeking help about their immigration status and will provide these services without regard to a victim’s immigration status or the status of their perpetrator.”
A new telephone number will be issued to complement the newly established VESL. This new line will feature an automated prompt system with tiered options. Callers will be provided with options including ICE’s longstanding Detention Reporting and Information Line (DRIL), Victim Information and Notification Exchange (VINE) and Victim Notification System Access (VNS), and Victim Assistance Support. Callers will also be provided information on ICE field office locations, and referred to the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
VESL will serve as a streamlined and all-encompassing access point for all victims with several service options:
- Detention Reporting and Information Line (DRIL) – Provides victims the ability to report incidents of sexual or physical assault, abuse, mistreatment, or human trafficking in ICE detention.
- Victim Notification System Access – ICE and DOJ/BOP’s longstanding VINE and VNS systems provide push notifications about custody status, case outcome, and other basic information to victims, lawyers, and others with a vested interest in the outcome of a case.
- Victim Assistance Support – Provides general assistance and information for victims including assistance for victims of child exploitation, assistance for victims of human trafficking, assistance with local resources and social service professionals, U- and T-visa information, and training and other services provided by ICE for law enforcement agencies and community organizations.
More information on the expanded service offerings can be found at www.ice.gov/VESL. Individuals seeking victim support may reach out to 1-833-383-1465.
Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.gov)