In a cease and desist letter sent to the city of Portland, Ore. Monday, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) representatives accused the city’s mayor of enabling the harassment of its officers by ordering police not to remove protestors camped outside of their office building.
Mayor Ted Wheeler expressed support for the dozens of protestors who began camping outside of an ICE building on July 20 and ordered police not to interfere with them.
In doing so, Wheeler failed to discharge his constitutional duties and endangered the men and women traveling to and from work each day, according to a letter sent by lawyers representing Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council.
“When the mayor gave the order that police would not support ICE employees trapped in the facility, he turned the lives of our employees over to an angry mob,” read the letter, obtained by the Washington Times.
“The mayor stated publicly that he supported the protests, which were supposed to be about protecting immigrant families. But what about the moms and dads that we had working in that building? What about their kids?” Crane told the Times. “These are questions that we’ll be expecting the mayor and city of Portland to be answering in the days to come.”
The letter demands that Wheeler apologize for pursuing a policy that “created a zone of terror and lawlessness.”
After initially supporting the protestors, who gathered to demand that ICE be abolished in the wake of the Trump administration’s contentious“zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy, Wheeler relented last week and ordered them to leave the property. Wheeler’s about face came after the protestors took to carrying riot shields, damaging ICE officers’ cars and ripping down American flags.
One ICE employee, a disabled Marine veteran, reportedly had his tires slashed by the protestors as he was trying to leave work to pick up his daughter.
Once relegated to far-left online communities, Democratic lawmakers have increasingly taken up the call to abolish ICE in response to the administration’s immigration crack down. While the message has been embraced among the left’s young, progressive wing, it remains politically risky as only 25 percent of voters agree the agency is irredeemable and should be disbanded, according to a Politico poll.