Specially-trained agents from Customs and Border Protection are being sent to so-called "sanctuary" cities around the U.S. where federal officials say local governments are interfering with immigration enforcement, including in Los Angeles.
The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees CBP, said the extra apprehension efforts are needed because some police and sheriff's departments are releasing individuals wanted by CBP from jail before they can be picked-up.
"When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims," Matthew Albence said in a statement Friday.
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The agents will include those with specialized tactical training, including some assigned to "BORTAC" units that are typically tasked with confronting human traffickers and smugglers.
CBP did not name the cities but a federal official familiar with the plans confirmed Los Angeles was one of the locations, along with New York, Boston, and Chicago.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement he strongly opposed the plan.
"We cannot allow the federal government to weaponize our immigration system for partisan politics. This poorly thought out plan can only be seen as a tactic to intimidate an already vulnerable population and drive them deeper into the shadows," Villanueva said.