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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.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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.

Go deeper

Mark Meadows: "Most of Donald Trump's America is peaceful"

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows argued Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "most of Donald Trump's America is peaceful" and that the violence that the Trump campaign has so frequently highlighted as part of its "law and order" message is in "Democrat cities."

Why it matters: One of the main themes of last week's Republican convention was that scenes of violent protests and crime are what America will look like under a Joe Biden administration. Biden shot back on Thursday, saying: "The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why."

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Globetrotting climate envoy Kerry makes Biden team’s first visit to China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

John Kerry became the first senior Biden administration official to touch down in China this week. He's also been the first to sit down with a string of world leaders.

Why it matters: Kerry may no longer be secretary of state, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise after a glance at his calendar. The unusual role could make Kerry a foreign policy force multiplier for President Biden, or potentially a source of mixed messages.