Officers from a special tactical team that normally confronts smugglers at the border are dispatched to “sanctuary cities” across the country.
The Trump administration is deploying tactical law enforcement units from the southern border as part of a spiked up operation in the country’s “sanctuary cities”, an escalation in the fight against president against localities that refuse to participate in the application of immigration laws.
Specially trained officers are sent to cities like Chicago and New York to build the capacity of local immigration and customs officials , according to two officials familiar with the secret operation. Additional agents to be dispatched to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, NJ
The move reflects President Trump’s persistence in cracking down on so-called “sanctuary” towns, communities that have refused to cooperate in handing over immigrants to be deported to federal authorities. It comes shortly after the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security announced a series of measures that will affect both American citizens and the immigrants living there.
Lawrence Payne, a spokesperson for the Customs and Border Protection Agency, confirmed that the agency is deploying 100 officers to work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which arrests at the interior, “to improve the integrity of the immigration system, protect public security and strengthen our national security.”
The deployment of the teams will take place from February to May, according to an email sent to Customs and Border Protection staff, which was read to the New York Times by an official familiar with the schedule.
Among the officers deployed in the “sanctuary cities” are members of the elite tactical unit known as BORTAC, which acts essentially as the border patrol SWAT [= GIGN]. With additional equipment such as stun grenades and enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification, officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals known for their violence, many of whom have criminal records. well filled.
In a statement, ICE acting director Matthew T. Albence said the deployment is a response to policies adopted by “sanctuary cities” which have made the work of immigration officers more difficult.
“As we have seen for years, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to take custody of strangers in prison, our agents are forced to make mass arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities,” did he declare. “When the sanctuary cities release these criminals onto the street, it increases the number of preventable crimes and, more importantly, the number of preventable victims.”
ICE officers generally search for people with criminal convictions or multiple immigration offenses as the first targets for deportation, but family and friends are often swept up in the enforcement net. the law during so-called “collateral” arrests, and many of these people could now be caught during any reinforced operation.
The objective of this new joint operation, said one of the officials, is to increase arrests in the jurisdictions of “sanctuaries” by at least 35%.
Officers will not break down doors or engage in shootings, said an official with direct knowledge of the operation, who, like the other official, will not be appointed because he is not authorized to discuss it .
Many ICE agents say their work has become increasingly difficult, three years after the start of Trump’s presidency, due to vigorous campaigns by immigrant advocacy organizations seeking to protect undocumented migrants by informing them of the legal limits that ICE agents face. As a result, in many communities where undocumented immigrants live, people now turn to their phones immediately when ICE agents are spotted to alert neighbors that they should stay inside.