The Department of Homeland Security is planning to send Border Patrol “SWAT”-like teams to assist ICE in sanctuary cities in an effort to track down undocumented immigrants.
DHS acting Secretary Chad Wolf said Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) teams would be deployed to sanctuary cities across the country.
Wolf claimed the SWAT teams will be used to track down undocumented immigrants with final orders for removal who have been released by local agencies in sanctuary cities.
ICE tries to detain those with orders for removal, but sanctuary cities have declared themselves safe havens. Local enforcement agencies do not provide resources to work with the federal agency to turn over the individuals.
Wolf asserts that a team is required to go into communities to locate these undocumented individuals. DHS asserts that they have no safety concerns for the public in allowing SWAT teams to perform routine law enforcement.
According to a CBP fact sheet published on the agency’s website, BORTAC teams are meant to provide “an immediate-response capability to emergent and high-risk incidents requiring specialized skills and tactics.”
Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have called for an end to the plan.
In a letter addressed to CBP, ICE and DHS leadership, Warren and Markey brand the plan “unnecessary, unwelcome, dangerous, menacing, retaliatory and unlikely to achieve its stated goal.”
BORTAC teams, they note, are meant to be called upon to address dangerous situations that run outside of the field of duties that Border Patrol and ICE agents are able to handle—not for “run-of-the-mill immigration arrests.”
See more on this story at Newsweek.