Jun 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

ICE and border agents deployed to help with protest enforcement

Police hold a perimeter near the White House as demonstrators gather to protest the killing of George Floyd in the morning hours on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC
Police near the White House during George Floyd protests. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Immigration agents have been deployed to assist federal, state and local law enforcement amid intensifying protests over the police killing of George Floyd, immigration agency officials confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Local protests in cities across the U.S., a number of which have turned violent, have incited a strong federal response from agencies including the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — and President Trump himself.

  • Over the past few days, ICE and CBP agents have been deployed to help the Federal Protective Service guard buildings and facilities where protests have erupted.
  • While ICE does not carry out immigration enforcement at protests, both ICE and CBP officers have the authority to conduct criminal arrests, ICE and CBP officials told Axios.
  • Several local jurisdictions and states have requested the agencies' assistance in the face of protests, including D.C. and Minneapolis, ICE officials said. It is not uncommon for ICE to assist local law enforcement during certain emergencies.

Neither ICE nor CBP was able to provide details on the number of agents or other resources they have deployed.

  • "It would not be appropriate to disclose law enforcement operational specifics which could jeopardize operational security," CBP spokesperson Stephanie Malin said in a statement.
  • ICE "fully respects the rights of all people to peacefully express their opinions," ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennet sent in an e-mail.
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