It would not be necessary to send Border Patrol officers to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement in sanctuary cities and other locations if local law enforcement would work with the department to help detain people, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Tuesday.
"What used to take one or two officers going into a jail setting and picking up an individual that's on a final order of removal, we now have to go into communities with many, many officers," Wolf told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."
Last week, The New York Times reported specially trained CBP officers were being deployed from February through May to cities including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit, and Newark. Not all of them are considered sanctuary cities.
He added CBP officers will act as "additional resources," but they will work independently from local police, meaning it might not be known where they are planning to enforce federal immigration laws.
"Again, in these sanctuary cities, they provide no resources to help us do our mission," Wolf said. "Should they decide to honor detainers and help ICE, we would not have to call in these additional resources."
Wolf on Tuesday also discussed the ongoing border wall project, noting that as Congress has given his department the authority to waive a number of laws and regulations, starting Tuesday, it will start waiving some procurement regulations and laws as well, which will allow it to speed up many of the Army Corps of Engineers contracts.
President Donald Trump has also been using existing resources and authority from the Department of Defense toward the wall, since he cannot get funding and resources from the Democrat-majority Congress, Wolf said.
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