Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) doesn't like that the Trump administration is sending tactical border immigration enforcement units to sanctuary cities and is calling on his administration to reverse the decision.
On Friday, news first broke that the Trump administration planned to send members of tactical law enforcement units from the southern border to assist immigration arrests operations in multiple cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
An administration spokesperson confirmed the news, saying that Customs and Border Protection would send 100 officers to help ICE efforts "in order to enhance the integrity of the immigration system, protect public safety, and strengthen our national security."
One of the cities to get tactical backup according to the reported plan is Boston. And on Saturday, along with fellow Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey (D), Warren sent a letter to the acting heads of the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement demanding answers on why the administration was sending them and demanded that they reverse the decision.
"Because this initiative is unnecessary, unwelcome, dangerous, menacing, retaliatory and unlikely to achieve its stated goal, we write to demand that you reverse course and to pose questions to better understand your rationale for employing paramilitary-style immigration personnel equipped with 'stun grenades and enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification' in Boston and elsewhere in the United States," the joint letter says.
Some of the agents being sent to assist ICE would come from CBP's Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC, according to the New York Times' initial report. The other cities, according to the New York Times, include "San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J."
"In short, BORTAC personnel are not meant to focus on routine operations in some of the United States' largest cities and there is no need for them to be part of these operations," the senators said in the letter. "The real explanation for this deployment appears to be that President Trump and his Administration are attempting to punish American cities that reject his misguided immigration policies."
In a tweet about the effort, Warren said that "The Trump administration shouldn't be deploying militarized @CBP agents to menace Boston & other cities that don't cooperate with the President's inhumane immigration policies."
In a Friday statement, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence said that the extra manpower would help his agency deal with the added enforcement difficulties created by sanctuary policies.
"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, according to a story in the Washington Post. "This effort requires a significant amount of additional time and resources."