U.S. President Donald Trump has announced the creation of a Department of Homeland Security program that protects American "victims of immigration crime."
Trump revealed the creation of VOICE, an acronym for Victims or Immigration Crime Engagement, during his first speech before the Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday night. The new office, which he said will "provide a voice" to families of crime victims, will publish a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants.
Families of people killed by undocumented immigrants have been "ignored by our media," Trump claimed when announcing VOICE.
The list, as The Independent points out, resembles Breitbart's "Black crime" listings, which reports crimes committed by African-Americans. He did not specify whether VOICE will distinguish between crimes committed by documented or undocumented immigrants. The recently-inaugurated president also promised to construct a wall alongside its southern border with Mexico.
But immigration wasn't the only topic Trump covered.
His speech, which began at 9 p.m. Washington D.C. time, also focused on economics, foreign policy, and uniting the divided country.
“I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength," Trump said. “A new era of American greatness is now beginning.”
On economics, Trump promised to cut taxes for business owners while increasing spending on infrastructure. He said he is planning to ask Congress to approve US$1 trillion spending in infrastructure financed through public and private capital. He also said he is going to lower the cost of health insurance.
On foreign policy, Trump reiterated his "unbreakeable" allegiance to Israel while announcing sanctions for those connected with Iran's missile program. He also said he strongly supports NATO but said the United States must today be friends with “former enemies.”
As for his comments on a "divided America," Trump claimed "we are one people with one destiny" who all salute "the same great American flag."
Trump told Reuters last week that his congressional address would be “optimistic” compared to his Jan. 20 inaugural speech. At his taking of office, he painted a dark picture of security in the U.S., referring to the current state of affairs as “carnage.”
Earlier on Tuesday, CNN reported that Trump is considering introducing legislation to provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants. His consideration, however, does not include citizenship as an immediate option.
Trump believes a comprehensive immigration bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to hold a job and require them to pay taxes has a chance of clearing Congress, CNN also reports.
Hours before Trump’s speech, U.S. stocks slipped while the Dow Jones ended a 12-day streak of record closes, Reuters reports. Since he was elected, stocks have risen sharply, given his promises of tax reform, infrastructure spending and reduced regulations.
On Monday, while Trump met several U.S. state governors at the White House, he said he is planning “big” infrastructure spending and is seeking a “historic” increase in military spending of more than 9 percent.
The Republican Party currently controls both the Senate and the House of Representatives, giving Trump an advantage in approving his proposed economic legislation.