Chicago Mayor Confirms White House Deploying Federal Agents to City

July 21, 2020 Updated: July 21, 2020

The mayor of Chicago said Tuesday that the Trump administration won’t deploy unnamed federal Department of Homeland Security agents to Chicago, as seen in Portland recently.

“What I understand at this point, and I caveat that, is that the Trump administration is not going to foolishly deploy unnamed agents to the streets of Chicago,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters on Tuesday. “We have information that allows us to say, at least at this point, that we don’t see a Portland-style deployment coming to Chicago.”

She said that the White House instead will send agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

“Unlike what happened in Portland, what we will receive is resources that are going to plug in to the existing federal agencies that we work with on a regular basis to help manage and suppress violent crime,” she said. “I’ve been very clear that we welcome actual partnership, but we do not welcome dictatorship,” according to USA Today.

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, John Lausch, said he’s aware of the situation.

Lightfoot was addressing questions about the legality of the Trump administration’s move to send federal officers to a number of large cities beset by violent crimes in recent days. So far this summer, Chicago has experienced a significant rise in shootings, including incidents that have claimed the lives of small children.

The White House hasn’t responded to a request for comment about Lightfoot’s remarks.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Tuesday that the president has “written a letter to the mayor” about the rise in violence in Chicago. “You have children who have been shot,” McEnany said. “People who have died, roughly a dozen people, every single weekend, more people are dying in the city than in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is incredible.”

McEnany, meanwhile, said that the DHS has authority “under 40 U.S. Code § 1315 to do this and protect federal property and that’s what they’ve done against a lot of lawlessness and anarchy.”

Epoch Times Photo
Police investigate the scene of a shooting in Chicago, Ill., on July 4, 2020. (Carly Behm/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Lightfoot, who has faced criticism for her response to the violence epidemic, wrote a letter to President Donald Trump and said she hopes the agents will battle street violence.

“We are not going to have people that don’t know our streets, don’t know our neighborhoods then are engaging in clearly unconstitutional conduct operating at will in our city. That is chaos, that is lawlessness and we are absolutely not having it,” she also said, according to ABC7.

On Monday, Trump vowed that federal agents would be deployed.

“New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore … we’re not going to let this happen in our country,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office. “We will have more federal law enforcement. That I can tell you.” He also said Oakland, California, could see federal officers.

Speaking about the recent events in Portland, Trump said, “[The officers] grab ’em, a lot of people in jail, their leaders, these are anarchists, these are not protesters … these are people who hate our country and we’re not going to let it go forward.”

And various governors, mayors, and senators are “physically afraid of these people,” he added, referring to individuals that he described as violent anarchists.