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Homeland Security Sec. Says No Systemic Racism in Policing

Secretary Chad Wolf said it was a "disservice" to paint law enforcement with the broad brush of systemic racism.

Mazin Sidahmed

Jun 08, 2020

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who has defended the use of unmarked security forces in Portland, Oregon.

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Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday rejected the notion that the U.S. has a “systemic racism problem” with its police.

“I do not think that we have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers across this country,” Wolf told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week.“ His comments come after protests over police brutality have erupted in all 50 states in the U.S. and around the globe following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin. 

Wolf felt that the issue was limited to particular officers as opposed to a systemic issue. He said that while there was room for improvement, “painting law enforcement with a broad push of systemic racism is really a disservice to the men and women who put on the badge, the uniform every day and risk their lives every day to protect the American people.”

Wolf said that law enforcement officials that are not doing their jobs correctly need to be held accountable, pointing towards the charges leveled at four officers who were involved in Floyd’s murder. 
ICE and Border Patrol agents, who now work under Wolf’s at the Department of Homeland Security, have faced numerous civil suits for misconduct such as shooting unarmed migrants as they cross the border and arresting U.S. citizens for immigration purposes. Politico

In other Washington, D.C. immigration news…

A House Panel is seeking information on Homeland Security’s role in the response to protests. A drone operated by Customs and Border Protection was flown over Minneapolis during the protests and ICE agents have been deployed to the streets nationwide. 600 personnel from different departments were deployed to assist local law enforcement and protect the agency’s assets. CNN

Homeland Security’s Inspector General is opening a review of the department’s treatment of pregnant immigration detainees following a complaint filed on behalf of a pregnant woman who said she gave birth at a border patrol station. The woman repeatedly told Border Patrol agents she was in pain and eventually ended up giving birth standing up, holding on to a trash can. BuzzFeed News

The U.S. government has cleared the way for aid to be sent to Central American countries, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in return for their assistance in immigration enforcement. All three countries signed on to highly controversial agreements which allowed the U.S. to send asylum seekers who arrived at the U.S. border to Central America. Guatemala is the only country that appears to have begun receiving asylum seekers. The countries will receive $500 million per year, divided by the three of them. Honduras’s case raised eyebrows as President Juan Orlando Hernandez was an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal drug trafficking case against his brother. The Los Angeles Times

Trump is hoping to use the ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as a bargaining chip with Democrats this year to get a broader immigration deal. However, regardless of the ruling, Democrats are inclined to wait until November to see if they win back the White House before agreeing to anything with the Trump administration. The ruling, which is set to happen during this session, could be another polarizing issue along with George Floyd protests and the coronavirus pandemic in this election year. Politico

Mazin Sidahmed

Mazin Sidahmed is the co-executive director of Documented. He previously worked for the Guardian US in New York. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut and he also contributed to Politico New York.




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