President Trump is doubling down on his feud with sanctuary cities as he sends in elite tactical units to assist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the fight against illegal immigration.
Trump’s administration is deploying Border Patrol officers to aid Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 10 sanctuary cities.
The federal government is assigning 100 Customs and Border Protection tactical officers to temporarily join ICE agents in sanctuary cities that have passed laws ordering local law enforcement to ignore federal immigration laws, according to the New York Times.
The CBP deployment will last from February to May and will “enhance integrity of the immigration system, protect public safety, and strengthen our national security,” CBP spokesman Lawrence Payne said.
The officials will be assigned to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, New York City, and San Francisco.
“As we have noted for years, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, our officers are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities,” ICE acting Director Matthew Albence said in a statement. “When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes and, more importantly, preventable victims.”
Border Patrol officers enforce U.S. immigration laws at ports of entry, such as airports, and within 100 miles of the border. Immigration enforcement in the middle of the country is usually left to ICE.
Former CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske criticized the decision, calling it overkill and a significant risk.
“If you were a police chief and you were going to make an apprehension for a relatively minor offense, you don’t send the SWAT team, and [the Border Patrol Tactical Unit] is the SWAT team,” Kerlikowske said. “They’re trained for much more hazardous missions than this.”