Sunday, September 27, 2020

Oregon Protesters Block ICE Buses Carrying Detainees, Border Patrol Swoops in with Pepper Spray

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An Oregon community was a flashpoint Wednesday in a clash of cultures between federal officials seeking to enforce America’s immigration laws and protesters and local officials who say immigration lawbreakers should come first.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were removing illegal immigrants in Bend, Oregon, when hundreds of protesters emerged to surround two buses that were being used for transport, according to KTVZ-TV.

The protest grew as it was livestreamed on Facebook.

Late Wednesday night, U.S. Border Patrol agents used pepper spray to make way so they could remove the two detainees and some ICE agents from the buses.

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“The two individuals arrested each had a history of criminal violent behavior,” an ICE spokeswoman told KTVZ.

“While ICE respects the rights of people to voice their opinion peacefully, that does not include illegally interfering with their federal law enforcement duties. ICE will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of its officers and detainees, and will vigorously pursue prosecution against anyone who puts them in harm’s way,” the statement said.

Central Oregon Peacekeepers president Luke Richter insisted that the law could not simply be enforced.


“If they’re going to take people from a sanctuary city, they need to have proper documentation of that. We have not seen any warrants for their arrest,” he told KTVZ.

As the 12-hour drama played out, local officials made clear their distaste and disdain for ICE.

Bend Police Chief Michael Krantz told reporters that his police force was on hand not to help ICE, but to protect the protesters.

He later warned protesters when federal agents were on their way.

Bend Mayor Sally Russell tweeted her criticism of ICE:

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel offered words of support for the protesters:

But Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli pushed back on Twitter.

“The law enforcement activity in Bend, Oregon is part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s mission to arrest criminal aliens presenting a danger to public safety and take them off the street,” he said in a statement.

Tom Homan, a former acting director of ICE, lambasted Hummel for his comments.

“ICE is helping protect that community but, look, the state of Washington, the state of Oregon has been taken over by the progressive left, and for the police department to stand there and do nothing,” he said on Fox News.

“What really irritates me is the district attorney of that county made a statement that he’s never been so proud of the community and disgusted with the federal government.

“He should resign immediately, because that’s not what he’s supposed to be about. He is supposed to be about law enforcement protecting the community, enforcing the law and prosecuting criminals, that’s exactly what ICE is doing in his county. He ought to be thanking them, not saying he’s disgusted with them.”

“He should resign today,” Homan said.

“It is disgusting. He is in direct conflict of his duties as a district attorney to, number one, protect his community, number two, protect law enforcement and the rule of law.”

During his Fox News interview, Homan was shown a 2018 video clip of Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who is Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate, saying that ICE has been likened to the KKK.

“Men and women of ICE are American patriots,” Homan responded. “They are enforcing laws that Congress enacted, her, a member of Congress. ICE isn’t making this up. Nine out of 10 people ICE arrests are public safety threats. They either have a pending conviction or pending criminal charges.

“They’re enforcing the law, protecting this country, and to compare them to the KKK is ridiculous,” he said. “That itself is a racist statement made by Kamala Harris.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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