Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on federal officers being deployed to combat violence in U.S. cities.
A leftist group is targeting the home of Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf for a rally, which would make him the latest Trump administration figure to have protests outside his house due to politics.
The group Shut Down DC is planning gather Sunday outside of Wolf’s Alexandria, Va., home. According to a Facebook post, the group will “demand that federal agents be removed” from cities like Portland, which has been rocked by nearly two months of protests and sometimes violent riots.
“Trump’s Department of Homeland Security is invading our cities,” the group said, reiterating a common refrain regarding the administration’s attempts to quell violence in U.S. cities. As of Saturday afternoon, 13 people were marked as attending the event while 47 said they were interested.
An email about the rally was also sent to activists, according to the Washington Examiner. It accused federal agents of violently attacking “protesters and bystanders” and “kidnap[ping] people in unmarked vans” — accusations that DHS’ Customs and Border Protection has denied. In a press release, the group also suggested that Wolf would “use DHS to silence political opposition” in the event of a contested result in November’s presidential election.
This wouldn’t be the first time a member of Trump’s Cabinet has been harrassed outside of their homes. During the migrant crisis in 2018, Wolf’s predecessor, Kirstjen Nielsen, also encountered protesters outside of her home in Alexandria. DHS, in particular, has become a lightning rod for criticism as it has implemented President Trump’s anti-illegal immigration agenda.
As leftist groups did then, Shut Down DC is calling for an abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It also wants “every person detained by CBP to be freed.” That would presumably include individuals who committed federal crimes in Portland.
DHS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan has been adamant about the need for federal law enforcement to quell violence in Portland and safeguard federal facilities there.
“The minute that we remove our presence from that building, this country would watch the courthouse burn to the ground at the hands of these criminals,” he told Fox News on Thursday.
Unrest in Portland has resulted in multiple injuries to CBP agents, including three who could have been permanently blinded by laser attacks, the White House said.
Wolf has similarly defended his agents and blasted what he described as “criminals” fueling chaos in Portland.
Multiple allegations have surfaced claiming that CBP has been heavy-handed while dealing with the unrest.
“The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered,” the American Civil Liberties Union warned earlier this week.
Morgan has denied his agents are a “secret police” and maintains that they follow normal law enforcement protocol when interacting with individuals in Portland. Morgan also maintained that his agents haven’t arrested people unless they had “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” to believe they have committed a federal crime.
Meanwhile, Oregon politicians have accused the administration of abusing its authority.
“Not only is the Trump administration violating the constitutional rights of Portlanders,” City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said in a press release, “but they are also attempting to use Portland as a proving ground for fascism, and they plan to invade cities across the country, cities that are political targets of the president.”
Both the Justice Department and DHS have announced internal inquiries into CBP’s behavior but Morgan says he’s “not worried” about the outcome. “I haven’t seen any reports at all that indicated that the CBP law enforcement professionals out there have done anything wrong,” he told Fox News.