Libby Schaaf, the Mayor of Oakland, consulted with activists for illegal immigration before releasing a public warning about upcoming raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in her area, according to Fox News. ICE says that Schaaf’s actions resulted in hundreds of undocumented immigrants evading arrest, and the Justice Department is reviewing her actions.
Last month, Schaaf said that Oakland had not broken the law and is free to operate as a sanctuary city. She insisted that families being able to stay together made the city a safer place to live. But, the Trump administration and ICE officials are furious at the Mayor’s stance, according to the report. When in California last week, President Donald Trump went as far as calling the events in Oakland a national disgrace.
Emails, obtained by KPIX-TV, show that hours before Schaaf’s public warning, the Mayor was in contact with Centro Legal de la Raza to discuss with them the issue of how employers should conduct themselves when the raid took place, as well as Oakland Community Organizations’ Emma Paulino, and a Catholic priest from St Jarlath’s Church.
Anti-immigration lobby groups and families of victims of undocumented criminal immigrants are also outraged by Schaaf’s behavior, with some calling for her to be prosecuted. The Federation for American Immigration Reform’s, Ira Mehlman, said the Mayor’s actions constituted obstruction of justice and that while there may no legal obligation for her to assist ICE, she also has no right to interfere with the execution of the agency’s legal duties.