Last week, the Trump administration announced that 100 agents from Border Patrol’s highly trained BORTAC teams will embed with ICE agents across the country targeting sanctuary cities. The tactical agents will assist ICE with routine operations and help alleviate resource shortages where needed.
As first reported in the New York Times, this is an effort being pursued by the Trump administration to battle cities that refuse to cooperate with ICE. BORTAC is essentially the SWAT team of the Border Patrol agents, currently serving on the southern border.
Lawrence Payne, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, confirmed that the agency was deploying 100 officers to work with ICE, which conducts arrests in the interior of the country, “in order to enhance the integrity of the immigration system, protect public safety, and strengthen our national security.”
The deployment of the teams will run from February through May, according to an email sent to C.B.P. personnel, which was read to The New York Times by one official familiar with the planning.
Among the agents being deployed to sanctuary cities are members of the elite tactical unit known as BORTAC, which acts essentially as the SWAT team of the Border Patrol. With additional gear such as stun grenades and enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification, the officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals who are known to be violent, many of them with extensive criminal records.
Some cities are quietly acting as sanctuary cities while others are loud and proud about being sanctuary cities and refusing to work with ICE. Local sheriffs and law enforcement just refuse to cooperate when arrests are made of illegal aliens. The latest example of local authorities refusing to cooperate is Paul Miyamoto, California’s first Asian American sheriff. He’s new on the job (since Jan. 8) and wants to get on the record as being opposed to the Trump administration’s operation. He said his officers won’t help deport illegal aliens.
“Our department is not involved in immigration enforcement,” he told KTVU2. “We feel that it is a federal matter, and our realm of interest is public safety, and you can’t really have a safe community if the community members are afraid to come to us to report crimes.”
He added that he’s not aware of the city ever turning someone in custody over to federal authorities and that he’s not starting now.
Mayor London Breed is in agreement, citing security concerns. That’s ironic given that ICE is working to remove those here illegally who commit crimes, thus security concerns for others living in these cities.
The city’s elected leaders will “continue to support our immigrant community and stand up for our city and we’re putting resources toward accomplishing that goal,” Breed said.
“We’re being targeted on so many levels,” she added. “But, the fact is, we’re a strong city, we’re a resilient city and we will fight against those attacks and we will protect the people of this city.”
San Francisco has won three lawsuits against the government between 2017 and 2019, protecting sanctuary laws. Local activists conflate a desire for the rule of law to be carried out and protecting Californians with racism and white nationalism. Because of course, they do. A former police commissioner delivers that nugget of nonsense.
“The Board of Supervisors, and even to some extent the Mayor’s Office, has been more unified in defending sanctuary because there’s this clear outside threat that is absolutely racist, anti-immigrant and engaging in white nationalism,” said Angela Chan, a former police commissioner and a criminal justice attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
On Friday, Acting ICE Director Matt Albence was interviewed on Fox and Friends and addressed this defiance. He used Orange County as an example.
“All we’re asking them for is information. Share that information so that we can go out and enforce the federal laws that we are sworn to uphold,” Albence said on “Fox & Friends.”
Albence said that in Orange County, the recidivism rate is more than 20% for the criminal illegal immigrants that he’s had to release as a result of California’s S.B. 54, also known as the “California Value’s Act.”
“It’s a clear public safety threat to turn people out back to the street to re-offend and most of the time, they go back to these very same communities and commit these crimes,” Albence said.
Frankly, this is ICE’s job. The agency is charged with immigration and customs enforcement under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security. It’s a no-brainer to remove illegal aliens who pose a danger to communities before they hurt someone else. The open-borders crowd, however, continues to fight logical thought on this issue. There is no right to live in the United States if a person is not a citizen, it is a privilege and those here illegally take advantage of our country’s generosity. We need to look no further than Democrats running for president to see those calling for the abolition of ICE and deporting criminal illegal aliens.
The need for additional resources to enforce the law within sanctuary cities is real. ICE has 5,300 enforcement officers nationwide. The number of immigrants with “non-detained” cases living in the United States has surpassed 3.2 million. The elite force has the resources to get the job done. We’ll see how effective this operation is as it is only supposed to run through May.
In Houston, one of the cities being targeted, the mayor claims that the city isn’t a sanctuary city. That is malarky and an immigration attorney admits as much as she is quoted in a local interview. Just as the officials in San Francisco, she says the issue is security and the states should overrule federal law.
Ral Obioha, an immigration lawyer in Houston said the move is nothing more than a fear tactic.
She said, “Houston per say is not a sanctuary city however I know that the Houston community police and law enforcement does not cooperate with federal agencies such as ICE and as such that’s why Houston has been targeted at this point.”
In addition, Obioha said it encroaches on state rights.
“While immigration law is federal law, security is state, within the power of the state. If this is allowed it’s going to set precedent for more and more invasive procedures and physically forceful apprehensions that basically violate state law,” Obioha said.
Houston’s mayor and sheriff have been quite local in their opinions of Trump’s initiatives at the border and on working with ICE. Let’s just say they aren’t supportive.
— Mary Benton (@IAmMaryBenton) February 20, 2020
Wink, wink. Nod, nod.