According to two familiar sources, US Border Protection agents and officers are being deployed to cities across the United States to support interior immigration enforcement.
The US border protection agency is expected to deploy 100 agents and officers and Newark, New Jersey, one of the sources confirmed to CANUSIM. The deployment may run from February through May.
The move, first reported by The New York Times, comes amid an escalated brawl between the Trump administration and so-called “sanctuary cities,” which hampers cooperation between local law enforcement agencies and immigration authorities.
“CBP officers and agents who are being detailed to assist ICE come from a number of different sectors and job position. While some of them were trained in tactical operations, that is one of the many parts of training,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a report.
Acting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence said in a statement, “ICE is using CBP to supplement enforcement activities in response to the resource challenges emanating from sanctuary city policies.”
“As we have noted for some years, in areas where we are not allowed to assume custody of foreigner from jails, our agents are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal foreigners who have been released into communities,” he added. “This effort requires a good amount of additional time and resources.”
In the ramp-up to the presidential elections, the government is leaning in to the issues of sanctuary policies yet again.
At the beginning of his presidency, Trump threatened to take federal funds from sanctuary areas in an executive order. He also floated the possibility of releasing immigrants into sanctuary areas, in part to retaliate against Democrats.
Within the last few weeks, DHS prevented New York state residents from enrolling in certain Trusted Traveler Program in response to the state’s sanctuary law, Trump condemn sanctuary policies in his State of the Union address and Attorney General William Barr declared a round of lawsuits against areas that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.
Speaking at annual meetings of sheriffs in Washington, Barr called the lawsuit a “significant escalation in the federal government’s effort to confront the resistance of ‘sanctuary cities.’ ”
Advocates, who have similarly heightened their criticized against immigration enforcement, opposed the administration’s recent move to deploy CBP agents and officers to cities.
“This is transparent retaliations against local governments for refusing to do the administration’s bidding,” said Shah Naureen, senior policy and advocacy counsel on immigrants’ rights for the American Civil Liberties Unions.
“Local government should not face reprisal for focusing on community needs and using taxpayer money responsibly, instead of helping to arrest, deport and detain community members.”