WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Troy E. Nehls (R-TX-22) introduced the Justice for Angel Families Act. Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced companion legislation in the Senate. This legislation would amend the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) to expand funds to angel families, who are immediate relatives of victims of homicide by an illegal immigrant, including drunk driving accidents. It would also reinstate and codify the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was established by an Executive Order signed by President Donald J. Trump in 2017.
U.S. authorities saw over 2.3 million illegal border crossings this fiscal year, as violent crime has continued to surge across the country. However, there is no official record that specifically tracks crimes committed by “illegal immigrants” in the U.S., and little is done for the families of these victims. The Justice for Angel Families Act would require the VOICE Office to publish annual reports to Congress detailing the effects of crimes committed by unlawful criminal aliens.
“Joe Biden’s open border policies are providing terrorists, murders, rapists, and other felons a no-strings-attached invitation into our country, where they are no doubt committing violent crimes across our nation,” said Congressman Nehls. “Sadly, relatives of these victims or next-of-kin are forced to bear the financial and emotional fall-out of these criminal acts, with no support from the current Administration. Our legislation will help to provide support to these families of illegal alien crime, as my colleagues across the aisle continue to put these violent criminals first.”
“Under President Trump, angel families were respected and looked after by the federal government. That couldn’t be further from the truth with Joe Biden in charge. This president prioritizes the radical left’s open borders agenda instead of helping American citizens victimized by the worst consequences of out-of-control illegal immigration,” said Senator Marshall. “Congressman Nehls and I are introducing this legislation to restore our angel families’ dignity and build on the support they received through the VOICE Office, which was disgracefully dismantled by the Biden Administration.”
“One of the primary missions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to secure the border and protect the homeland,” said Chad Wolf, former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Executive Director and Chair, Center for Homeland Security and Immigration at the America First Policy Institute. “As the former acting secretary, I know the seriousness of this responsibility. Ensuring that victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens have a voice and an opportunity to influence DHS policy is critically important, which is why we created an office dedicated to the American families of victims of illegal alien crime. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration seems to prioritize illegal aliens over U.S. citizens by shutting down this office. I applaud Congressman Nehls’ effort to restore this office that will provide these families with the resources they need. But this is also another reminder that enforcing our immigration laws is the most successful policy to prevent illegal alien crime in the first place.”
This legislation is supported by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC), and Numbers USA.
“In order to help angel families – American citizens who have been permanently separated from their loved ones due to illegal alien crime – President Trump created the Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement (VOICE) office,” said RJ Hauman, Head of Government Relations and Communications at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “When it was fully operational, VOICE assisted thousands of angel families, connected them to crucial services such as grief counseling, followed up their cases, and helped ensure that the criminal aliens who harmed their families so egregiously were detained, removed, and deported. That all changed when President Biden took office. Our border was opened and angel families were not only tossed to the side through the dismantling of VOICE, but more were tragically created. In the current Democrat-controlled Congress, their pain has been met with silence, and their plight with indifference. Senator Marshall and Congressman Nehls are going the opposite route. These two lawmakers correctly recognize that their first duty, and their highest loyalty, is to American citizens. They want a nation that is safe and secure and are trying to properly assist angel families, while making sure their loved ones did not die in vain. Everyone should join FAIR in backing the Justice for Angel Families Act, no matter your chamber or party affiliation.”
“Nothing can redress the loss of a loved one at the hands of an illegal alien who should not even be in the country. But the “Justice for Angel Families Act” at least reduces the financial burden that no family should face while grieving the loss of a child or other family member,” said Don Rosenberg, President of Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC). “The Biden Administration and more directly DHS Secretary Mayorkas’s decision to convert the original VOICE Office established in 2017 to a service to aid illegal aliens was heartless and callous. The reestablishment of the VOICE office will provide an invaluable service to the countless victims of illegal alien crime.”
Representatives Lance Gooden (R-TX-05), Jim Banks (R-IN-03), Jake Ellzey (R-TX-06), Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), Don Bacon (R-NE-02), and David Joyce (R-OH-14) cosponsored the bill in the House. Companion legislation in the Senate was cosponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).