Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday that she doesn’t expect President Donald Trump’s administration to deploy federal agents into the city like in Portland. “There has been a lot of saber rattling” by the president and his team, but unlike in Portland, the U.S. attorney in Chicago will help manage the effort, Lightfoot said during a news conference.
“I’ve been very clear that we welcome actual partnership,” Lightfoot said. “We do not welcome authoritarianism and we do not welcome unconstitutional arrest and detainment.” If the situation changes, Lightfoot said the city will be rushing into court.
“What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago,” Lightfoot said in a letter Monday to Trump that was seen by Bloomberg News. “Deploying resources like we have seen in Portland, Oregon, does not make residents safer particularly when gun violence plays a significant role in Chicago’s loss of life. Quite the opposite.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice is planning to announce an expansion of Operation Legend to Chicago, according to an administration official.The program is a more traditional law enforcement approach, in which more federal agents are sent to a city to work in cooperation with local law enforcement to fight violent crime.
Twice in recent days, Trump has said he wants more federal law enforcement officers sent to cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia and New York following the dispatch of Department of Homeland Security personnel to Portland, Oregon, to protect federal property.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney alsopushed back, saying the city would “use all available means to resist such a wrong-headed effort and abuse of power,” the Philly Voice reported. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf added her voice:
Trump’s push for federal agents in cities gripped by protests and spikes in crime is a policy that appeals to his base ahead of the election, but faces legal challenges. InPortland, pitched battles have erupted between federal agents and protesters, prompting state officials to sue the Trump administration — yet the president remained undeterred. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday he also would sue if the Trump administration sent agents to his city.
On Tuesday, the White Housethreatened to veto the House FY21 defense policy bill over provisions that present “serious concerns,” including a requirement for new names for military bases that honor Confederate generals. Trump has decried the nationwide effort to remove Confederate symbols seen by some as emblems of white supremacy.
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