Thursday, May 4, 2017

Reporting Criminal Space Aliens

All your butts are belong to us.

When the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office set up a new hotline for reporting "criminal aliens," they weren't expecting calls about aliens from outer space. But that's exactly what they got. A group of online activists decided to flood the hotline with calls about the kind of aliens that zoom around in flying saucers, and as a result, ICE issued a statement dismissing every single call that referred to extraterrestrials.

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January targeting what he called “criminal aliens,” he probably wasn’t thinking of extraterrestrials.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement unveiled its Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office Wednesday, one of the results of Trump’s order ― and it includes a hotline for victims of “criminal aliens.”

Critics such as Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) say the new office is part of the Trump administration’s effort “to perpetuate a stereotype that immigrants are dangerous and something to be feared.”

Others are taking their criticism a step further, turning it into a form of performance art by calling the 1-855-48-VOICE (6423) phone number to report space aliens.

A case could be made that referring to these calls as "performance art" could prove just as dangerous as stereotyping immigrants. Also, the volume of fake calls is troubling, and could cover up real cases. For example, what if somebody calls about real criminal space aliens? Abducting people and probing their butts can't be legal, even if the aliens return them to their beds when it's all over. But if fake calls prevent ICE from taking those cases seriously, they may never even be investigated.

So there's plenty of blame to go around on both sides here. Too many fake space alien calls mean that real cases can be missed. But the signal that ICE's response sends is that the Trump administration doesn't care about space alien butt probes, and that stance could wind up hurting his voters. Much of Trump's victory can be attributed to increased enthusiasm and voter turnout in rural areas, after all, and everybody knows that alien abductions always seem to happen in the middle of nowhere.

If we're not supposed to call ICE about criminal space aliens, who do we call? Maybe the administration should set up a separate hotline for these kinds of calls. You know, to show that they care. And maybe these activists should only call in if they've really been abducted or violated by visitors from the stars.

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