Specially trained border officials are reportedly being deployed to a handful of sanctuary cities to help carry out an immigrant arrest operation to begin this weekend alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
From February through May, at least 100 Customs and Border Protection officers will be sent to cities including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, according to The New York Times. Not all are considered sanctuary cities.
Some of the agents are members of an elite tactical unit of CBP, The Times reported. The Border Patrol squads will be charged with backing up ICE agents during deportation operations and standing by as a show of force, The Times reported
The move reflects President Donald Trump’s persistence in cracking down on sanctuary cities, places that’ve refused to cooperate in handing over immigrants targeted for deportation to federal authorities, The Times noted.
It also follows CBP’s recent move to end expedited airport processing programs for New Yorkers, and lawsuits filed by the Justice Department against four different jurisdictions with immigration sanctuary-style policies.
In a statement, ICE’s acting director, Matthew Albence, said the deployment comes in response to policies adopted by sanctuary cities, which have made it harder for immigration agents to do their jobs.
“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,” he said. “When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims.”