ACLU Calls for Abolishing DHS Using False Narrative of ‘Paramilitary’ Abduction of Peaceful Protesters in Portland

PORTLAND, OREGON - JULY 26: Federal police make an arrest as they confront protesters in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as the city experiences another night of unrest on July 26, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. For over 56 straight nights, protesters in downtown Portland …
Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, a left-wing group partially funded by billionaire George Soros, is calling for the dismantling of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on U.S. soil that killed 3,000 people.

Romero wrote a commentary in USA Today on Sunday where he claimed getting rid of the agency was necessary to “preserve our freedoms and our security.”

Romero made his argument by repeating the false narrative that federal police from DHS were a “paramilitary” unit sent to Portland, Oregon, in early July to quell violent protests that had continued nightly for weeks and that those officers “abducted” peaceful protesters and put them in unmarked cars.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Mark Morgan, Acting COO and Commissioner of DHS’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said bolstering federal officers to protect federal property and to enforce federal law is a “common practice.”

“To surge federal law enforcement agents to high crime areas, this is nothing new,” Morgan said. “I’ve participated in multiple federal law enforcement surges over the years. This is common practice when we see an increase of violent crime.”

Morgan said federal agencies are in cities across America every day protecting the estimated 9,000 federal properties across the nation.

Morgan also told Breitbart News that the idea that the protests in Portland are mostly peaceful is “outrageous.” He said peaceful protesters would not be armed with baseball bats, rocks, sledge hammers, and commercial-grade fireworks.

Romero wrote the ACLU has opposed the DHS since its inception and that the agency has racist intents:

The tactics deployed by DHS agents are unlawful and shocking, but they are no surprise: Back in 2002, we at the ACLU called the initial blueprints for the behemoth bureaucracy “constitutionally bankrupt.”

And for nearly 20 years, we have seen many of our warnings about DHS become tragic realities. We objected to a knee-jerk plan that failed to respond to the intelligence law enforcement failures that contributed to the tragedy of 9/11. We believed that DHS would use the veil of “security” to target communities of color and immigrants, and urged greater civil liberties oversight.

Now, of course, we know that DHS has surveilled Black Lives Matter activist circles; descended into mosques and community centers to infiltrate Muslim communities; shot and killed foreign nationals across the border; and monitored protests using fusion center intelligence sharing hubs.

Romero also claimed DHS under President Donald Trump is responsible for separating children from their parents at the U.S. border, even though, under the Flores Agreement, children are required by law to be separated from their parents because of the different requirements for detaining adults and minors — a practice that has been carried out for years, including during the eight years of the Obama administration.

Romero said that DHS should be broken up into smaller, more independent agencies, including its U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, because having USCIS under the DHS umbrella implies an immigrant threat to national security.

But he did not reveal his support for an independent agency that would put foreign interests ahead of American interests, particularly in the labor market.

Romero concluded that national security shouldn’t be the country’s top concern.

“Rather than tolerating misinterpretation of ‘homeland security,’ we need our government to advance a ‘more perfect union,” Romero said.

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