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Trump Sends Border Agents to Sanctuary Cities

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THE TRUMP administration will send specially trained officers from the southern border to so-called sanctuary cities to help with immigration enforcement operations in a clear escalation of President Donald Trump’s ongoing conflict with localities that limit law-enforcement cooperation with immigration authorities.

The officers will be sent by Customs and Border Protection, the agency which houses Border Patrol, to aid in arrest operations carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Operations will take place in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, New Jersey, according to The New York Times, which first reported the development.

The officers being deployed include those assigned to specialized tactical teams within CBP, like the elite Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC.

BORTAC agents have training similar to special forces personnel and often wield specialized equipment. They carry out high-risk security operations along the border, such as raiding drug stash houses or targeting individuals known to be violent.

The move to send the agents to aid ICE appears in part aimed at sending a message to immigrants in the 10 cities where operations are scheduled to take place and could escalate what are otherwise normal enforcement actions.

The border agents will reportedly be used for backup on ICE operations and providing a show of force.

In an unattributed statement, Homeland Security said agents being detailed from CBP to ICE come “from a number of different sectors and job positions.” Homeland Security said the increase in migration at the southern border in 2019 left ICE without “sufficient resources” to manage cases, a problem which “is exacerbated by the rise of sanctuary jurisdictions.”

The border agents have been “trained in routine immigration enforcement actions which is what they have been asked to do,” according to the statement.

ICE did not respond to a request for comment from U.S. News.

In a statement to the Times, ICE acting Director Matthew Albence said the deployment comes in direct response to sanctuary policies that restrict cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

“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 said.

Trump administration officials and Trump himself have repeatedly railed against sanctuary cities, making the political spat a cornerstone of Trump’s immigration agenda.

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