'Sending Unsolicited Troops To Chicago Is Wrong': Rep. Garcia Says Trump Wants To Use Federal Force For Political Gain

Craig Dellimore
July 21, 2020 - 1:41 pm
Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is expected to send 150 agents to Chicago as early as this week in an effort to curb gun violence, despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s warning that deploying militarized federal agents in the city “would spell disaster.”

Now, Chicago Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia is raising his voice against President Trump’s plans to send a federal force to Chicago, saying he is just doing it for political gain.

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Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) said President Donald Trump wants to use armed federal agents for his own political purposes, as he said was done in Portland, Oregon. That is where boarder patrol agents used force against peaceful protesters.

"What we saw in Oregon was the semblances of police state, and I fear the likes of which are coming to Chicago," he said.

Though he said he knows of no one on the federal level in Chicago, who wants President Trump to send border patrol agents to the city.

What can Congress members do to stop such action?

"Well for one, there is legislation being introduced in both the Senate and the House that would seek to create this prohibition against the use of these federal personnel for the purposes that the President has resorted to," Garcia said.

Garcia said there will also be efforts to halt such spending in the budget process getting underway.

"Sending unwanted, unsolicited troops to Chicago is wrong. Such a deployment in Chicago represents a heinous overreach of federal authority," Garcia said, "and it is just the latest example of the President's desperate attempt to distract us from his abysmal handling of the deadly coronavirus."

Congressman Garcia is joining Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's assertion that they will do everything they can to block the deployment.

On Monday, the Mayor penned a letter to President Trump, saying that deploying federal agents who are not familiar with the city, and not under the direction of local law enforcement, “would spell disaster” and “will foment a massive wave of opposition.” The mayor listed ways he could help Chicago instead, including through universal background checks for firearm purchases, and boosting federal efforts to investigate federally licensed gun dealers.

"He could empower the ATF to actually do what they're supposed to do, which is go after illegal gun sales, go after federally licensed gun dealers that aren't doing their job, (that) are selling to people that they know are straw purchasers," Lightfoot said.