February 18, 2020 | Reading Time: 1 minute

Trump’s Secret Police?

Things are heading in that direction.

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I wrote this morning about the president’s new intimidation of sanctuary cities. He’s deploying 100 CBP agents, including BORTAC, which is a SWAT team for border security. The official goal is increasing deportations by 35 percent, but it’s pretty clear the aim is bullying local law enforcement into cooperating with federal authorities. I set the Times report in historical context, trying to explain, as I see it, how 9/11 sparked a chain reaction leading to what appears to be Donald Trump’s secret police force.

I end the piece by quoting Jenn Budd, a former Border Patrol agent turned civil rights activist, who reported a conversation she had with a former CBP official. She wrote:

Border Patrol does not believe they are a civilian law enforcement agency. They believe they are kin to the Marine Corps. They do not believe they are accountable to Congress, which is why they have no issues lying to them even while under oath.

They believe they are only accountable to … presidents like Trump. Border Patrol believes it is not required to answer to local police, FBI, CIA or any other law enforcement agency. They claim to be the “premiere” law enforcement agency, superior to all others. They say they will become a “national police force” to be used by a president to enforce laws even among citizens. (Italics are mine.)

Check out the whole thing here.

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Thanks. —John Stoehr

John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.

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