Portland Protests

Portland Protesters Get the Immigrant Treatment

Trump sics his border police on Americans: We are all immigrants now


There is growing shock that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) behaved like a paramilitary outfit in Portland, Oregon, nabbing protesters from the streets and whisking them away in unmarked cars. But the fact is that border enforcement agencies are ideally suited for the job.

The Week's Joel Mathis points out that CBP has "long been ripe for use and abuse by an authoritarian-minded executive" and he is right. Even before President Donald Trump was elected, CPB, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), already had a veritable blank check to ignore constitutionally protected liberties in the 100-mile interior zone adjacent to the entire border, inside which two-thirds of Americans reside. In this zone, as I have noted previously, border patrol officers have sweeping powers to surveil and search anyone. The Trump administration deployed both CBP and ICE during the June protests in Washington, D.C., to do just that and "support" other federal law enforcement bodies.

However, in Portland, CBP took on a far more active role and brought in its combat-ready Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) and Special Response Team (SRT) to deal with protesters. These units, Newsweek reported, are akin to special operations forces that are supposed to be used only in high-risk missions involving immigration, drugs, and terrorism around the border.

The big advantage of these units was that Trump didn't have to navigate legal or parliamentary rules to summon them. Indeed, if he wanted to call in the military to quell protesters, he would have had to invoke the Insurrection Act, as President George H.W. Bush did after the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. This was guaranteed to generate pushback not just from Congress but the military itself given that its top brass told Trump after the D.C. protests that they were not eager to cooperate with his efforts to suppress American citizens. But summoning border troops, who already have free rein to effectively harass and harry two-thirds of the country's residents, posed no such problems. "So this is an end-run because he couldn't use the military," a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official, troubled by Trump's tactics, anonymously told Newsweek. (CBP and ICE are both housed within the DHS.)

But that is not their only appeal.

The fact is that for all their brutality, cops, even militarized ones, are under local control and trained to respect minimal rights because, by and large, they deal with American citizens. That's not the case with border enforcement agencies, whose targets are foreigners and immigrants who enjoy few rights. Moreover, as New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg notes, border agencies' leadership is fanatically devoted to Trump and is saturated with far-right politics.

All of this made them perfect for Trump's purposes.

The lesson here, as I have pointed out before, is that a government that enjoys vast powers to go after immigrants becomes difficult to restrain in other dimensions. Once norms against government abuse and overreach are eroded toward "outsiders," it's only a matter of time before "insiders" become fair game too. That's the logic currently playing out in Portland. It may soon come to a town near you.

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  1. The fact is that for all their brutality, cops, even militarized ones, are under local control and trained to respect minimal rights because, by and large, they deal with American citizens. HAHA – MinneapolisThat’s not the case with border enforcement agencies, whose targets are foreigners and immigrants who enjoy few rights. Moreover, as New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg notes, border agencies’ leadership is fanatically devoted to Trump and is saturated with far-right politics.

    All of this made them perfect for Trump’s purposes.

    Smart man!!

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    2. Trump’s manifest ignorance baffles so many, because his skill in building his cult of personality proves that he is not a congenital moron. What Trump is is an insect. In his famous quote about human competence and character Heinlein said that “…specialization is for insects.” Trump has specialized so completely in self-promotion that he has no other skills, nor even thoughts. Trump is an insect – a very poisonous insect.

      That said, any of those protesting, or more, targeting private property or persons are thugs and thieves no better than the government thugs and thieves their protest of which they use as, but, an excuse. Government is fair game – well, not game, more nearly vermin -, private property or persons is poaching.

      “…what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.”
      ~ Thomas Jefferson

      1. What idiotic bleating.

        1. “What idiotic bleating.”

          And there we have the concise Trumpian opinion of the American founding and “…the spirit of resistance” that underpinned it and America’s exceptionalism, ever since.

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  2. This is a crucial point we Koch / Reason libertarians need to emphasize: a government that deviates from our benefactor Charles Koch’s immigration agenda will, inevitably, become a fascist dictatorship.

    You don’t want to live in a fascist dictatorship do you? Of course not. So you must therefore support unlimited, unrestricted immigration.


  3. LMAO

  4. Psychiatrists are available during the pandemic. There’s no shame in talking to one.

    1. A psychiatrist would 5150 the entire Reason staff.

      1. why can’t this be love, Shikha?

        1. *golf clap*

  5. behaved like a paramilitary outfit in Portland, Oregon, nabbing protesters from the streets and whisking them away in unmarked cars

    And every one of those Peaceful Protesters was lighting a federal building on fire, vandalizing churches, looting a business or assaulting passersby literally Hitlers on the streets, but don’t let the truth get in the way of your opportunistic outrage.

    1. David Marcus has a good article on The Federalist on these peaceful protesters.

      1. From David Marcus’ article:

        There will be no more police brutality because there will be no more police. Antifa will decide what property belongs to whom and settle disputes with their equality loving iron fist. Make absolutely no mistake that is the goal of every single person who shows up to assist these criminals in their nightly riots.

        Do you really believe this? Every single protestor in Portland wants a city run by supposed Antifa warlords?

        1. No, but by not having an agenda or philosophy of their own, they are implicitly supporting this and will get it, if it goes that far.

          I.e. they are useful idiots!!

          1. So, as should be no surprise to anyone, Team Red is demagoguing the shit out of the Portland protests. “They’re all violent radical Marxists!!! Come save us Daddy Trump!!!!”

            1. Yea, they’ve had to work really hard to demagogue the 8 straight weeks of senseless rioting every night

            2. They’re literally Marxist, and they’re behaving violently. I’m not Team Red; I did not and will not be voting for Trump.

              But I don’t understand how you can’t see this.

              If you’re most worried about DHS, you’re going to want to try to shut down the violent anarcho-communist “revolution”, because it’s giving Trump an obvious, deserving target.

            3. Would you have us believe those windows broke themselves, those cars spontaneously combusted, and the bricks launched themselves at the cops??

              There are dozens, even hundreds of criminals who should be picked up and spend a few months in jail at least. When you are part of the group giving them cover you can’t complain when you are mistaken for a criminal and get swept up in the arrests.

            4. Protest is carrying a sign.

              They’re not protesting, they’re rioting.

          2. And how do you know what their “agenda or philosophy” are? Maybe people show up just to see what the spectacle is all about. Maybe people show up just to show casual solidarity with people whom they believe are fighting for a good cause broadly speaking even if they don’t agree with every detail.
            Maybe people show up for totally shallow reasons like wanting to hang out with their buddies.

            By participating here, are you endorsing what every Reason writer writes about every subject?

            1. If you’re going to walk into a bank while it’s being robbed and don’t immediately run back out – its pretty well expected one will be investigated for robbery. Determining suspects doesn’t come about by a lottery ticket.

            2. There are literally videos after videos of these people you willfully ignorant fuck.

              It is easy to find out what they want if you would venture farther towards the truth than a Vox article.

            3. If somebody hung out at a Klan rally, would you be saying “Well, who says they SUPPORT the Klan?”

              Because this is what you’re saying here.

            4. Also, secession wasn’t universally supported in any state in the confederacy. Mostly, it was run by a few loud elites while the rest just went along.

              I guess that means they didn’t REALLY commit treason since most didn’t REALLY support it.

        2. Yes. The people of Portland literally voted for the Antifa candidate.

        3. No you fucking idiot. There’s no singular agenda among the rioters other than nihilism. Antifa is the only thing that approximates a quasi-organized group which WILL force themselves on others given a chance.

          1. Which is the reason the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt after Mubarak was ousted

        4. > Do you really believe this? Every single protestor in Portland wants a city run by supposed Antifa warlords?

          No, they want to create a Utopia, like Chaz was meant to be. They want to create a anarcho-communist zone. And yes, that’s what I really believe the core group of protestors around the federal courthouse wants.

        5. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/2/sarah-iannarone-antifa-mayor-eyes-portland-oregon-/

          she tweeted, “If they’re going to call me ‘Antifa Mayor,’ then I might as well fight fascism.”

          “Despite her proud stance, or maybe because of it, Ms. Iannarone placed second in the crowded May 19 mayoral primary with 23.8% of the vote. That landed her in the November runoff with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who came up just shy of the 50% threshold needed to win the race outright.”

          Well at least 24% want an Antifa mayor.

      2. I thought Captain Kruge ordered one of his men to execute David Marcus on the Genesis Planet.

    2. In most countries, these subversives would be treated as such.

  6. Reason writer displays her ignorance of facts and complete pro Democrat left wing ideology. Shocking.

    I hope they beat the shit out of those rioters and looters.

    1. I hope they beat the shit out of those rioters and looters.

      Add +1 to the fascist total here among the Reason commenters.

      1. “Not giving my lefty boos space to destroy is fascism.”

        1. No, just people like you, who literally advocates for the state to murder left-wing protestors.

          1. Violent people deserve a violent response.

            1. +1 for fascism!

              1. “Please Mr. Antifa-man, kill me last, I defended you on the internet!”

              2. And jeff fi ally reveals he doesnt believe in the NAP. Thank god he admitted it finally.

                And Jeff also reveals he is just fine with fascism of the left. Watching people literally follow people to their homes to intimidate them. Assault people who stand up to them. Threaten people who think differently.

                Jeff is a fuckikg left wing fascist.

          2. I thought property rights were important to libertarians. Another right to throw on the firepit, it seems.

            1. As Instapundit has pointed out repeatedly…cops are NOT there to protect us from criminals.

              It is the opposite. They are there to protect the criminals from us. People dealt with crime rather harshly in the past and agreed to stop with the introduction of police forces.

              With the lack of police…well, vigilantes weren’t usually gentle.

          3. You really are disingenuous. You think you’re somehow clever when you swap ‘protester’ for ‘rioters and looters’ when responding. When no one advocated beating legitimate protesters.

            But then, that’s the sort of dishonest bulls it we’ve all come to expect from you Pedo Jeffy.

  7. I would like to know what the border patrol is doing in Oregon at all. Last I checked there is no border nearby.
    I don’t think federal presence of some sort is completely inappropriate. But isn’t there some other agency in charge of security for federal buildings? I don’t have enough faith in the information I’m getting from anywhere to make any judgement beyond that.

    1. I agree it’s an odd choice. Which agency do you think it should be?

      1. The Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement?

      2. “Which agency do you think it should be”

        US Marshalls? IIRC those are the guys sitting inside and manning the security stations when you enter the federal court. They are the ones responsible for protecting Judges and witnesses, etc.

        1. They also run federal prisons, handle prisoner transfers, hunt fugitives, and when things get tough, they’re the muscle for the FBI.

      3. Well, given the sheer number of people they need, the simple answer is “all of them”. I don’t see what matters if it’s border patrol, FBI, or the Marshals. This is splitting hairs about who works for whom in a situation where it’s obviously “all hands on deck”.

    2. Unfortunately, if you are in a city with an international airport, you are in a city where the Border Patrol can operate.

      1. If you are within 100 miles of the coast you are in the border area.

        Great Lakes too. Even Lake Michigan, which is all inside the US

        1. Yep. Some huge absurd percentage of people live in “border areas” because of these rules.

  8. Hahaha! This place has gone full clown show. We’re all immigrants now!

    1. No, not us citizens. We’re lower class under a de o rat regime. Forced to step aside for illegals, who are exempt from the rule of law and who also receive superior government services.

      It’s our job to pay for these New Democrat voters who are meant to replace us. And weasel shitheaps like Pedo Jeffy gleefully and enthusiastically support that.

      1. Yes, but you will become like Europe, ain’t we so elegant ?

  9. The protesters came looking for a fight. At least, enough of them did and the rest of the group doesn’t do much to stop them. I see this as healthy flexing and exercising on both sides. Ultimately it will fizzle because there are too many cameras and no one wants to be caught throwing the first punch. It’s actually an implicit vindication for rule of law and obviates law enforcement in the long run. (Which is why they often have to resort to infiltrating these groups with instigators.)

  10. Quelle surprise. Laws designed to be used against terrorists and immigrants are actually used against Americans.

    Some of us realize that it doesn’t matter which tribe the ruling class hails from, that the state will inevitably use its coercive authority against everyone, sooner or later.

    And then some of us are so lost in the daily tribal politics that they will find some reason to justify THEIR tribe’s use of coercive power while finding some figleaf to object to THE OTHER tribe’s use of the very same coercive power.

    The state simply cannot be trusted with so much power. These broad anti-terrorism laws, anti-immigration laws, anti-drug laws, simply have to go. Laws should protect liberty, and do little else. All the other crap is nonsense no matter if it’s Trump or Biden doing it.

    1. ATF!

      They should be handing out alcohol and tobacco, and giving them the business with firearms.

      1. ATF needs to go as well.

        1. So do you

  11. Laws designed to be used against terrorists and immigrants are actually used against violent American criminals.


    1. So you are confident that everyone thrown into an unmarked van by camo-wearing black ops wannabes are “violent American criminals”?

      1. SOME of those “thrown into an unmarked van by camo-wearing black ops wannabes are” VIOLATORS OF THE LAWS against unauthorized blowing upon cheap plastic flutes!!!

        THE LAW IS THE LAW IS THE LAW, dammit!!!

        In these here days of utmost DANGERS, please stay ye SAFE from the flute police! So… A word to the wise!

        To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

        1. Thank you SQRLSY

          1. Maybe he will share some of his bowl of shit with you if you bring a small child the two of you can rape together.

      2. No, there might be one or two useful idiots along for the high of sticking it to the man; wannabe revolutionaries.

      3. I don’t know yet. They have been arrested, charged, released on bail, and will have their day in court if they want to plead not-guilty.

        That alone undermines the entire point of your fearmongering. These people aren’t disappearing. They aren’t being spirited off and kept in a camp or being sent to the bottom of the river. They are going into the same justice system that they would in any other situation.

  12. “Most minimalists want to keep exactly the economic and police system that keeps them privileged. That’s libertarians for you–anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.”

    ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars

    1. No, that is not fair.
      There are people who call themselves “libertarians” who really are just narcissists that want the state to protect their own status without regards to anyone else.
      But real libertarianism is protection of everyone’s liberty. Even the liberty of those whom you hate. Even the liberty of those who were born halfway across the globe.
      That is the promise of libertarianism and that is what we all ought to strive for.

      1. There are people who call themselves “libertarians progressives” who really are just narcissists that want the state to protect their own status without regards to anyone else.

        Way to project.

        1. Is that so.
          Please have a discussion with Sevo and get back to me.

          1. Your lack of psychological insight is striking.
            If you had an talent for it, you’d have killed yourself long ago

            1. If he stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, he’d miss.

              1. Can’t blow your brains out if you don’t have any.

      2. And yet you defend the protestors actively taking things from others.

        You’re such a fucking joke of a person.

        1. It wouldn’t be so bad if Jeffy didn’t insist upon himself to such a degree, and play the sock puppet game. As it is, he really n it’s how to shit up a discussion. Though not quite as bad as Squirrely.

      3. What about the liberty of the people that lived and worked in these places?

  13. This is doubtlessly the fucking dumbest thing I’ve read today, and I’m a Washington Post subscriber.

    1. It makes more sense as satire or if you assume she were actually trying to make people vote for President Trump.

      1. She should report an in-kind contribution.

  14. At some point I have to think that journalists are just outright lying, because the violence of the “protesters” is so bloody obvious that there is no other explanation for them being called peaceful (or protesters)

    1. The media has to keep repeating the lie as if we can’t see the streaming video for ourselves, every single night.

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  16. Those Oregon terrorists (not protesters) took up arms and attacked federal officials in an act of war. As far as I’m concerned they have given up their US citizenship, if they ever had it.

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  17. If he stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, he’d miss.


    1. Even the bots hate Jeff. Lol.

      1. I literally lol’ed. It’s funny because it’s true.

  18. So, what is essentially a violent criminal gang has been engaged in a multi day siege of a federal building, at once barricaded the exits and attempted to set it on fire (with many people inside) and the pearl clutching from Shikha is about which patch is on the shoulders of the federal LEOs sent to arrest those who have committed federal crimes?

    Personally, I think the *quietly roll up and quickly roll away with the person of interest* method is exceptionally well done. It minimizes the chance of people interfering and minimizes the chances of violence. It’s literally a de-escalation tactic. Instead of arresting them in the middle of crowd, during a riot, they roll up when they are more isolated and bring them in.

    I think the majority of the reason for people bitching is that it appears to be *effective*. Can’t have that.

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  19. Has there been a woke social justice take over of Reason? What’s with all the Left wing propaganda recently?

  20. The lesson here is that Dalmia is an idiot, and her reasoning is sketchy at best.

    If you already have a conclusion, and only look at things you can use to support that, then it’s just propaganda, not reporting

  21. Well, I don’t think that they should deploy miniguns against immigrants, but the violent marxist rioters are a different story.

    But we see articles here that feign disgust when they use pepper spray.

  22. Read, literally, not a single word of the column yet I can all but guarantee I completely know what she wrote.

    Because Dalmia is incapable of thought.

    1. She’s so prosaic. And unoriginal.

  23. “…We are all immigrants now”

    Well, at least those of us trying to burn down buildings.

  24. “Once norms against government abuse and overreach are eroded toward ‘outsiders,’ it’s only a matter of time before ‘insiders’ become fair game too. That’s the logic currently playing out in Portland. It may soon come to a town near you.”

    Do not mistake this for something new! Too many have such small time perspectives. Elderly Trump and and “hot young news” AOC are both the same old government absolutists that have plagued people and primates since the nastiest and nosiest coerced some others under its “leadership.” The only really new thing in the relationship of “leaders” to those “led” since the first monkey troop formed came quite recently when limits were forced on “leaders” and individuals innate rights acknowledged.

    Since 1215 when John was forced to seal Magna Carta the Government Class has continuously tried with every lie or atrocity possible to regain absolute power and to fully rejoin economic and state power.

  25. Why not rerun some of Dalmia’s old articles urging Obama to let mummy-head terrists drive infected cattle across the Texas border without showing any ID or vaccination papers?

  26. Congrats for making Reason magazine and small-“l” libertarianism politically irrelevant, Shikha.

  27. Can’t wait for Democrats to federalize the police force.

    Just kidding. That would be a disaster, but like all previous Democrat initiatives since Jim Crow, they’ll manage to evade all responsibility for it.

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  29. Just from the headline: My wife’s an immigrant, I know a lot of immigrants. Not one of them has gotten this treatment. Why?

    Because they’re not illegal immigrants.

    So, fancy that: Criminal protesters get treated like criminal immigrants. Bizarre!

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  30. Anybody – including this and other “journalists” – who believe this type of behavior, over the course of nearly 60 days is somehow “acceptable” most certainly hasn’t taken the time to speak with the people trying to earn a living in that zone. Several businesses have already gone toes up, with more on approach….

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