President Trump called Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf a “disgrace” Thursday after reports that she warned criminal illegal immigrants about upcoming ICE raids.
“What the mayor of Oakland did the other day was a disgrace,” Trump stated during a meeting at the White House. “They had close to 1,000 people ready to be gotten, ready to be taken off the streets … they say 85 percent of them are criminals and had criminal records. And the mayor of Oakland went out and warned them, scattered, so instead of taking in a thousand they took in a fraction of that.”
Pres. Trump says Oakland Mayor is being scrutinized following her decision to warn residents ahead of ICE raid: "What she did is incredible, and very dangerous from the standpoint of ICE, and border patrol." https://t.co/fmuC77lcM4 pic.twitter.com/LRddfTme0C
— ABC News (@ABC) March 8, 2018
The president was referring to a report which found that around 800 illegals had evaded capture during an operation conducted in the Bay Area following Schaaf’s warning.
Of those arrested, ICE claims 180 out of 232 “were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed” and returned illegally.
ICE reported that 115 immigrants additionally “had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.”
The Democratic mayor tweeted last month she’d heard from “credible sources” that ICE would be conducting an operation in the Bay Area within 24 hours, while insisting she did not want to “panic” residents, but instead “protect them.”
“My priority is for the well-being and safety of all residents – particularly our most vulnerable – and I know that Oakland is safer when we share information, encourage community awareness, and care for our neighbors,” she wrote in a press release.
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) February 25, 2018
Speaking to Fox News, acting ICE Director Tom Homan condemned Schaff’s actions.
“What she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘police’ when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood, except she did it to an entire community. This is beyond the pale,” he said.
“This is a whole new low, to intentionally warn criminals that law enforcement is coming,” Homan added.
Conservative website Hot Air contends the mayor’s actions are akin to “harboring” criminals, which is against federal law.
“It’s actually embedded in federal law and has been for as long as anyone reading this has been alive,” Jazz Shaw wrote. “Here’s how it’s structured, courtesy of the Cornell Law School.
8 U.S. Code § 1324 (a) (1) (A) (iii)
Any person who, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B).
8 U.S. Code § 1324 (a) (1) (B) (ii)
A person who violates subparagraph (A) shall, for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), (iv), or (v)(II), be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the Oakland mayor out at a press conference Wednesday, where he announced a Justice Dept. lawsuit against California over its sanctuary city policies.
“So here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf,” Sessions said. “How dare you, how dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda?”
It remains to be seen whether the Justice Department will pursue separate charges against Schaff over her possible violation of federal law.