President Donald Trump is deploying border patrol agents from tactical units to sanctuary cities across the nation to arrest undocumented people.
According to the New York Times, one hundred agents from the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), will assist local Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers with arrests of undocumented people in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J.
The Times also notes that BORTAC is an elite tactical unit the goes through Special Forces-type training, carry stun grenades, and acts “essentially as the SWAT team of the Border Patrol.”
The president’s aggressive move counters those of local officials who have disregarded the administration’s call to enforce immigration policies that would lead to arrests and deportation of undocumented people.
ICE’s acting director, Matthew Albence released a statement that read in part, “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,” Albence continued. “When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims.”
Immigration advocates raised concerns about the deployment. Naureen Shah, from the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Washington Post that the administration might be exacting a “broad pattern of reprisal” against sanctuary cities, adding, “We shouldn’t have SWAT-like teams participating in immigration enforcement across the country.”