WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — President Trump plans to send federal law enforcement agents into more U.S. cities, including Chicago in what’s being called “Operation Legend,” but some lawmakers from Illinois say this is a dangerous political stunt.
President Trump said Wednesday hundreds of federal law enforcement agents will soon arrive in Chicago “to help drive down violent crime.”
But Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth said on Tuesday the president’s move is a dangerous political stunt.
“This is disgusting and it is the further politicization of our institutions, which should be non-partisan,” she said.
Following the President’s announcement on Wednesday, Duckworth released a statement with fellow Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D), which read in part, “After needless threats, we’re relieved the Trump Administration says they plan to work with local officials and authorities in Chicago rather than undermine local law enforcement and endanger our civil rights, as their
agents have done in Portland.”
Most of the agents within “Operation Legend” work for the Department of Homeland Security.
Concerns were raised last week after unidentified federal officers in unmarked cars arrested demonstrators in Portland.
“The DHS mission in Portland is to protect federal property and our law enforcement officers,” said Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “In Chicago, the mission is to protect the public from violent crime on the streets.”
John Laush, the U.S. attorney who covers Chicago, says the agents won’t always be identifiable.
“Sometimes they’re operating in undercover capacity and other times if they’re making arrests or doing searches, they are overt,” Laush said.
Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) represents parts of Chicago.
“There’s obvious civil liberties concerns,” Quigley said.
He says he’s not against help from the federal government but also has a message for the president if he really wants to stop crime in Chicago.
“Tell Mitch McConnell to put some of our gun control measures on the floor,” he said.
Federal agents could also arrive in cities like Seattle, Atlanta and Washington D.C., whose mayors have all said they’re against the operation.