Sen. Tammy Duckworth to DHS: ‘Don’t Even Think About’ Sending Federal Police to Chicago

Sen. Tammy Duckworth to DHS: ‘Don’t Even Think About’ Sending Federal Police to Chicago


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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A US senator from Illinois is warning Donald Trump not to send the kind of unidentified, paramilitary federal agents who have been snatching protesters from the streets of Portland Ore., also to the streets of Chicago.

Unidentified agents in unmarked vans have been snatching protesters from the streets in Portland, often without probable cause.

Donald Trump’s said that he intends to send these agents, who are from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), into other US cities, including Chicago.

Americans have been on the streets in cities coast-to-coast to protest the May 25 murder of George Floyd while in police custody. Protesters have been seeking police reforms and racial justice.

“Well, my message to DHS and to President Trump is don’t even think about it. Frankly, what I’m hearing on the ground is that they are looking to send ICE troops, ICE officers, again, dressed in these camouflage uniforms. Nobody knows who they are,” said Sen Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill), a veteran of the war in Iraq and among those presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is considering for his running mate. “They just have police generically on their clothing, unmarked vehicles into our city streets under the pretext of human trafficking is what I’m hearing. Regardless, don’t even think about it.

“If you want to do something about gun violence, call [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and ask him to pass universal background checks and higher penalties for straw purchasers of weapons. Do something, let’s have that vote, because it would pass both the House and the Senate,” Duckworth added.

Duckworth also complained that these paramilitary agents appear to be tasked with guarding Confederate statues.

“Well, they’re sending them to protect statues, to traitors who raised arms against our union. Come on. That’s not appropriate. Let local law enforcement do local law enforcement’s job,” she said. “If the president cares — really cares about gun violence in Chicago–then he needs to do two things.

“One, call Mitch McConnell and let’s have a vote on the floor of the Senate on universal background checks,” Duckworth said. “And then, let’s put more funding into programs for community-based programs such as opioid addiction treatment, such as after-school programs for kids. Let’s put more money into our public school systems and our social services. That would help us in Chicago more than sending in ICE or DHS.”

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