Every day, reports of unmarked vans with unidentifiable law enforcement agents rounding up protesters in Portland, Oregon, are going viral. Many of those who were detained said they weren’t doing anything illegal. Last week, one man described being blindfolded, taken to a federal courthouse, and read his rights. After he asked for a lawyer, the officers released him. Several news outlets confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security had sent Customs and Border Patrol agents to the city. After widespread outrage and shock, with city and state leadership asking for federal agents to leave, acting DHS head Chad Wolf posted a now-deleted tweet depicting graffiti on the federal court and using this as justification for the presence of federal agents. Instead of trying to make up a reason that could sound plausible, or even denying that there was anything questionable about the behavior of CBP agents, Wolf he claimed he didn’t need permission from the state or locality to be there and had no intention of retreating.
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