Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a letter to Trump officials Attorney General William Barr and United States Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to formally say that the presence of federal agents is not welcome in New York City.
“What we see happening in Portland, Oregon is blatantly unconstitutional,” de Blasio told reporters on Wednesday. “We cannot allow that to happen in New York City.”
The letter comes a day after Mayor de Blasio threatened to take the Trump administration to court if the president deployed federal agents to police New York City. On Monday, President Trump defended the use of the federal agents in a mass crackdown of protests in Portland, Oregon and threatened to deploy more federal agents to cities run by “liberal Democrats” like Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Civilians and elected officials alike have decried the aggressive tactics federal agents, normally tasked with customs and immigration tasks, which include donning military-style uniforms and placing arrested protesters into unmarked vehicles.
On Monday, de Blasio told reporters not to take the president’s comments too seriously calling it a “bluff.” The mayor repeated his theory that President Trump made the comments to garner political support again on Tuesday stating that he was using the current media attention as a “photo op for his own political needs.”