Elite tactical units from the Customs and Border Patrol will be sent to sanctuary cities for several months, the Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday. The elite CBP agents are normally used to deal with smugglers and other violent offenders.
This is the latest in the escalating war against sanctuary cities and states by the Trump administration. And the sanctuary cities can’t do anything to stop them.
“This is transparent retaliation against local governments for refusing to do the administration’s bidding,” said Naureen Shah at the American Civil Liberties Union.
The New York Times reported that Customs and Border Protection is sending 100 agents to assist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. CBP usually handles border and port matters, while ICE is responsible for interior enforcement and deportations.
The ACLU is correct — it is retaliation. It’s retaliation for years of sanctuary cities thumbing their noses at the law and generating enormous fear and hostility against Washington among both legal and illegal alien communities alike. They thought this just one big game. They are finding out otherwise.
ICE, though, has increasingly struggled against sanctuaries, which while they vary in their exact policies, generally restrict cooperation between local authorities and federal immigration law enforcement.
The most extreme of jurisdictions refuse all communications, including refusing to tell ICE when illegal immigrant targets with criminal records are being released from jail.
ICE says it wants to be on hand to pick them up and deport them, getting criminals out of communities.
Sanctuaries argue that if they cooperate with ICE it will scare immigrants from reporting other crimes.
I am tired of that excuse. Illegals are terrified of the police. What little cooperation the cops get comes only after the illegal is threatened by the police to be handed over to ICE.
If the left wants to use the heartbreaking story of illegals to gain sympathy for their cause, two can play at that game.
Mr. Trump, in remarks at the White House Friday afternoon, blasted sanctuaries and gave a platform to Daria Ortiz, whose 92-year-old grandmother was slain earlier this year in New York City in a death the president blamed on sanctuary policies.
Reeaz Khan, the Guyanese illegal immigrant accused of killing Maria Fuertes, had been released by New York in November in defiance of an ICE detainer request.
Ms. Ortiz broke down in tears as she recalled her grandmother, a legal immigrant from the Dominican Republic. Mr. Trump put his arm on her back to comfort her as she spoke.
“The tragedy is my grandmother’s not ever going to be here again,” Ms. Ortiz said. “The man that is responsible for this should have never had the opportunity to do this.”
The courts may not force sanctuary cities to cooperate with the federal government, but they aren’t going to tell Washington where it can deploy its agents. This war is a long way from being over.