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On Press Call, Advocates Blast Trump’s Decision to Send Tactical Units to Cities that Welcome Immigrants 

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On the heels of a bombshell New York Times report that the Trump Administration will be sending military-style tactical units, starting this month, to “safeguard” American cities the Trump administration labels as “sanctuary” cities, a panel of experts and advocates gathered to respond: 

Naureen Shah, Senior Advocacy and Policy Counsel of the ACLU, said: 

This move by the administration underscores why state and local law enforcement are right not to work hand in glove with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.) ICE and Customs and Border Protection are agencies that do not see themselves as accountable to the public, and police who work with them will be associated with their abuses and potential excessive use of force. If Trump’s threat of more arrests is real, local police are right not to want to be associated with it.

Lorella Praeli, President of Community Change Action, said:

The overwhelming majority of Americans share our values and belief that immigrants are welcome in America and that we make America stronger. And yet, in an effort to rile up his nativist base, Trump is now ramping up even more destruction and intimidation on cities that decline to help the feds detain and deport immigrants–he’s tried and failed in the courts, he’s lied and leaned into the racist trope of immigrants as dangerous, and now he’s actually sending DHS’ version of SWAT teams into our cities.

Today, we call on elected officials to stand up, fight back and strengthen the laws and policies that protect our communities. It should be no surprise that Trump is launching this attack when voters in key primary states are preparing to cast their ballots. These tactics are dog whistles for Trump’s base that threaten millions of lives and will harm our communities for years to come. We object. Today, tomorrow, in November and beyond we will fight for our communities and for an America where we all have the Freedom to Thrive.

Angelica Salas, Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), said:

[Valentine’s Day] is a day we remind ourselves to sacrifice for our family and for our community. We denounce the administration for their policies of hate and persecution, and we will not disappear now. We condemn the actions of the Trump administration to attack our community once again; we call upon the American public to stand with us and say to the president and his administration that we want neighborhoods that are inclusive so our friends and family feel safe. From the state of California, we will continue to organize and defend our community. We will not stand by and let this president, especially on this day when we are celebrating love, see us as a group that he can continually attack. I know that together we are going to overcome this attack once again.

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said:

The New York Times report revealing that the Trump administration will be sending Border Patrol SWAT teams to cities that treat immigrants as vital and equal members of their communities is deeply disturbing. Trump wants to intimidate cities, scare immigrants and score political points. But much like when he announced raids aimed at arresting thousands that failed, and much like the 2018 midterms when Trump’s xenophobia backfired, it won’t work. America is a nation defined by people from all over the world who come here and make better lives for their families while making America a better country. Trump’s radicalism is no match for who we are.