PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mayors of six U.S. cities appealed Monday to Congress to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized federal agents to cities that don’t want them, even as the Trump administration is considering sending more of them to Portland.
“This administration’s egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities should never happen,” the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Kansas City Albuquerque and Washington D.C. wrote to leaders of the U.S. House and Senate.
Early Monday, U.S. agents repeatedly fired what appeared to be tear gas, flash bangs and pepper balls at protesters outside the federal courthouse in downtown in Portland. Some protesters had climbed over the fence surrounding the courthouse, while others shot fireworks, banged on the fence and projected lights on the building.
President Donald Trump said Monday on Twitter that the federal properties in Portland “wouldn’t last a day” without the presence of the federal agents.
Homeland Security is considering sending about 50 additional Customs and Border Protection agents to Portland, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The plan has not been finalized and it’s not clear if the officers would be replacing the officers on the ground.