NEW YORK, NY – Over the weekend, news broke that President Donald J. Trump was threatening imminent deployment of “elite tactical border agents” to sanctuary cities around the country with orders to arrest undocumented workers and migrants, which could include families seeking safety in the United States.
The move is seen by advocacy and human rights experts as a retaliatory measure against U.S. “sanctuary cities” or cities that limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. These cities include Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, and Newark, NJ.
The tactical units being deployed employ agents whose SWAT-like training includes sniper certification and the targeting of violent individuals. Once launched, the operation is expected to last through May.
In response to this pending threat by the Trump administration, Michelle Brané, senior director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, issued the following statement:
“This is a calculated attempt by the Trump administration to instill fear in our communities to the detriment of us all. This does not make any of us safer. It is a waste of resources that endangers communities and child welfare by driving immigrant families into the shadows and terrorizing communities with the threat of military-like round-ups of a targeted population.
“If the Trump administration carries through with its latest cruel plans, migrant and asylum-seeking families need to know their rights as individuals and as parents, and how to respond. People need to make a plan, right now. We encourage the media, churches, community groups, and others to share these resources, especially ‘Know Your Parental Rights’ and ‘Make a Plan,’ both of which are available in English and in Spanish.
“Right now, we cannot stop the Trump administration from its current path of destruction. We can, however, help ensure that families squarely in President Trump’s crosshairs have as much information as possible to help empower them during this nightmare.”