Homeland Security To Deploy 150 Federal Agents To Chicago This Week
President Donald Trump alluded to the plan in an interview over the weekend.
July 21, 2020 at 3:51 pm
As nationwide protests continue, so does the outpouring of aggressive policing tactics.
According to The Chicago Tribune, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will station 150 federal agents in Chicago by the end of the week.
An anonymous source from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed the deployment, though they added the agents' presence won't play a role in matters regarding immigration or deportation. It is unclear what exactly the agents will be doing in the city, but The Hill reports they'll be aiding local police. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly chastised the city's handling of crime, hinted to Fox News' Chris Wallace about these forthcoming plans on Sunday.
"I’m going to do something that I can tell you, because we’re not going to leave New York and Chicago and Philadelphia, Detroit and Baltimore, and all of these — Oakland is a mess. We’re not going to let this happen in our country, all run by liberal Democrats,” Trump said, talking about violence in those places.
Trump also mentioned Portland.
"We’re going to have more federal law enforcement, that I can tell you,” he said. “In Portland, they’ve done a fantastic job. They’ve been there three days and they really have done a fantastic job in a very short period of time, no problem."
Trump is referring to the recent influx of unidentified federal officers in Portland, Oregon, who tear-gassed peaceful protesters — some even going as far as assaulting protesters with weapons.
Here’s the longer version of the protester being struck repeatedly by federal police tonight in Portland pic.twitter.com/v9BljIkLK0— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) July 19, 2020
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke briefly about the revelation in a press conference Monday, expressing her opposition to Trump potentially sending federal agents to the city.
“We don’t need federal agents without any insignia taking people off the streets and holding them, I think, unlawfully,” Lightfoot said, via Herald & Review.
In an interview with NBC News, the 57-year-old blamed the commander in chief for his failure to take serious action on legislation regarding gun violence.
Chicago’s mayor blames Trump for her city’s soaring murder rate:— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 14, 2020
“If the president was really committed to helping us deal with our violence, he would do some easy things … He would push to make sure that people who were banned from getting on airplanes can’t get guns." pic.twitter.com/2S0idD0yQd
"If you go back over many years, President Trump has said a lot of disparaging things about the city of Chicago. He likes to use us as a political punching bag," Lightfoot said to Andrea Mitchell. "But if the president was really committed to helping us deal with our violence he would do some easy things."
Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois, echoed Lightfoot's sentiments in a statement obtained by The Hill.
"Make no mistake: Trump’s federal troops will not be a constructive force in Chicago. As our colleagues have seen in Portland, Trump’s secret forces will terrorize communities and create chaos. This is not law and order. This is an assault on the people of this country, and the specific protections of protest and press in the First Amendment."
In addition to Portland, Herald & Review reports that federal agents have made their way to Washington D.C., Seattle and other cities with large metro populations.