Garcetti Says Trump Deployment of Elite, Armed Border Patrol Agents to LA 'More Politics than Policy'

Rebekah Sager
February 14, 2020 - 3:33 pm

According to reporting from the New York Times, agents from the U.S. Border Patrol's Tactical Unit (BORTAC) are being sent to sanctuary cities, including Los Angeles. 

BORTAC “acts essentially as the SWAT team of the Border Patrol,” the Times reports. 

The agents are known to work "in the most rugged and swelteringly hot areas of the border,” receive “enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification,” and “the officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals who are known to be violent, many of them with extensive criminal records.”

In-Depth hosts Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson sat down with Mayor Eric Garcetti to ask him about the potential deployment to L.A., and other sanctuary cities. 

"I think the idea of bringing them into cities or targeting 'sanctuary cities' as if they need to have people with tank-like vehicles bashing down doors here seems pretty ludicrous," Garcetti said. 


Garcetti said the LAPD was given no heads up about the new policy. "We don't enforce immigration laws here. LAPD won't enforce immigration laws here. It's not our responsibility." 

Garcetti said he'd prefer the resources to be spent on going after "truly dangerous" people. 

Claude Arnold, former special agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in Los Angeles says the move to send the BORTAC officers to sanctuary cities is needed. 

"They're (Border Patrol agents) having to do more," Arnold says. "They need additional manpower... they have specialized training in dealing with dangerous people." 

Claude Arnold speaking with KNX reporter Pete Demetriou:

Garcetti says the move by Trump "smells a lot more like politics than policy."