Unprecedented Decision: The Administration Will Use ICE Agents To Suppress Election Riots
ICE officers and other agents of the Department of Homeland Security have been instructed to be ready to deploy and protect federal property in Washington DC
Officers from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including those from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been instructed to be prepared to protect federal property in Washington DC if riots arise on or after Election Day , two DHS officials told NBC News, the sister network of Noticias Telemundo.
The agency is regularly tasked with providing additional security in the country’s capital on the new president’s inauguration day (once every four years in late January) but has never intervened to quell riots on election day before.
This unprecedented step was taken in response to nationwide protests and attacks on federal property that occurred throughout much of 2020, officials explained.
ICE, CBP, and the Federal Protective Service are part of the Task Force to Protect American Communities (PACT), established in June through an executive order from President Donald Trump in response to “the anarchists and extremists of left ”which, he said, sought to damage federal monuments and buildings.
The task force faced a backlash this summer in Portland, Oregon, when officers protecting federal court clashed with protesters for more than two months.
When asked about plans to keep the capital safe on election days, a CBP spokesperson said: “As part of law enforcement under the DHS Working Group to Protect American Communities, CBP will continue to provide support, as requested, to the Federal Protective Service to protect federal facilities and property if necessary , and to local partners working on law enforcement if requested.
An ICE official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that agency agents were ready to secure federal buildings and work with local law enforcement.
Chase Jennings, a DHS spokesman, said the agency is “fully prepared with regard to safety and security on Election Night.”
“To be clear, the Department of Homeland Security has limited authorities with regard to physical security. Our jurisdiction covers only federal property, ”added Jennings.