Justice Department Reviewing ICE Raid Warning By Oakland Mayor, White House Says
The U.S. Justice Department is reviewing Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's warning about Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in the Bay Area, according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, CBS San Francisco reports. ICE said officers made 232 arrests from Sunday to Wednesday arrests and renewed threats of a bigger street presence in California, where state law sharply limits cooperation with immigration authorities at local jails.
When asked during the daily White House press briefing Thursday about President Trump's reaction to Schaaf, Sanders said: "I think it's outrageous that a mayor would circumvent federal authorities and certainly put them in danger by making a move such as that. And that's currently under review by the Department of Justice, and I don't have anything else to add."
Sanders is just the latest member of the Trump administration to take issue with Schaaf's actions.
ICE acting director Thomas Homan told Fox News earlier this week that the mayor's statement put law enforcement at risk.
"What she did was no better than a gang lookout yelling 'Police!' when a police cruiser comes into the neighborhood, except she did it to the entire community," he said. "These are American heroes, that strap a gun to their hip every day to defend this nation, and to tell the criminals that we're coming in the next 24 hours, is just incredible."
Homan disputed the mayor's claim that the warnings made her community safer, saying 800 people that were targeted in the raids remain at large.
"These are people who are already here illegally and yet committed another crime, and have been convicted of a crime." he said. "She gave them warning, and there were 800 that we were unable to locate because of that warning, so that community is a lot less safe than it would have been."
Schaaf has defended her actions saying it was her "duty and moral obligation as Mayor to give those families fair warning when that threat appears imminent."
Following the announcement, Schaaf's office was inundated with phone calls and social media messages criticizing the decision.
On Wednesday, the mayor continued to defend the warning to immigrants at a news conference.
"I continue to feel confident that what I did was the right thing and was legal," Schaaf told reporters.
The Trump administration has cracked down on so-called sanctuary policies, insisting that local law enforcement inform federal agents when they are about to release immigrants discovered to be living in the country illegally.
Defenders of so-called "sanctuary" practices say they improve public safety by promoting trust among law enforcement and immigrant communities and reserving scarce police resources for other, more urgent crime-fighting needs.