The roll-out of federal agents in Portland, Oregon, has sparked outrage across the country and has caused the protests in the city to grow. The Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security have doubled down on their aggressive strategy, and have promised to bring additional federal troops to other cities as well.
DHS Secretary Chad Wolf promised to “never surrender to violent extremists” and claimed that his agency “will prevail,” against its own citizens.
According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, DHS is now planning to send federal agents to Chicago any day now, to suppress ongoing protests in the city. President Trump has been threatening to send federal troops to Chicago long before the recent protest movement began. Less than a week into his presidency, Trump promised to “send in the Feds” if the crime rate was not reduced in Chicago.
The incoming federal occupation is highly opposed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who sent a letter to Trump on Monday objecting to federal troops being sent to the city for crowd control purposes.
“We don’t need federal agents without any insignia taking people off the streets and holding them, I think, unlawfully. Any other form of militarized assistance within our borders that would not be within our control or within the direct command of the Chicago Police Department would spell disaster,” the mayor wrote.
At a press conference at the White House on Monday, Trump said that he was ready to send federal agents to other cities throughout the country.
“I’m going to do something — that, I can tell you. Because we’re not going to let New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and 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.
DHS reportedly has 2,000 military officials waiting on standby for orders from Trump about which city to invade next. These measures are overwhelmingly opposed by most local political leaders, who are mostly on the opposite end of the political spectrum than Trump.
Oregon senator Jeff Merkley recently announced that he intends to introduce legislation which would restrict the agency’s ability to operate in the state if they are sent in by the federal government
In an interview on Fox News on Monday, DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said that these local leaders don’t have a choice about the agency’s activities in its jurisdictions.
“I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not,” Wolf said.
In Portland, Oregon, federal law enforcement officers admitted to using unmarked vehicles to round up protesters and detain them. In videos of these “snatch and grab” incidents, officers can be seen driving up to people and carrying them off without any of the typical legal protocols. Now after these recent developments there are concerns that these types of police actions could be happening all over the country soon.