Thursday, July 23, 2020
Earlier this week, Kit Johnson blogged about the federal law enforcement officers -- including Customs and Border Protection officers -- quelling protests in Portland, Oregon. President Trump has proceeded to send federal officers to quell violence in Chicago, Albuquerque, and other cities. The mayors of the cities have expressed opposition to the federal interference in local matters. The Guardian's headline for its story on the President's action suggests that partisan political motivations fare behind the extreme action: "Trump announces 'surge' of federal officers into Democratic-run cities".
Linus Chan and Carrie Rosenbaum for Slate see court decisions that offer great discretion in enforcing the borders as encouraging abuses by the same law enforcement officers against "Portland mothers" far from the border:
"Federal violence against protesters in Portland, Oregon, has escalated this week, with federal officers in military gear and helmets using batons and tear gas against protesting moms late on Tuesday night. Throughout the past week, uninvited and heavily militarized Customs and Border Protection agents have been violently seizing and detaining protesters. On Monday, the president promised to expand this operation to Chicago and other majority-Democrat cities. CBP agents are normally tasked with policing the border. So why are they in our cities, potentially violating the First, Fourth, and Fifth amendment rights of Portlanders in ways that clearly have nothing to do with enforcing immigration law? Unfortunately, court decisions created loopholes that have emboldened CBP’s lawless behavior against undocumented immigrants at the border, abuses that are now being exported into the interior of the country against American citizens by President Donald Trump."
Federal agents tear gas Portland Mayor
The Daily looked at why militarized federal authorities are being deployed to Portland.