ICE spokesman says he quit over 'false' claims by DOJ officials


Schwab told the newspaper he tried to get ICE to correct the figures quoted by Sessions and others, but was instead asked to deflect reporters' questions. "Then I took some time and I quit", Schwab said.

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement resigned over "false" and "misleading" comments made by top Trump administration officials over how hundreds of illegal immigrants evaded arrest during a recent sweep in Northern California, a report said.

Mayor Schaaf told The Washington Post in an interview earlier this month that she chose to warn the immigrant community of the impending ICE raid for fear that the operation was not wholly targeting "criminals", and that, instead, hard-working mothers or fathers without criminal records might end up arrested and deported. She added: "How can it be illegal to tell people what their rights are?" Jerry Brown slammed the lawsuit as one of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "political stunts" meant to "divide and polarize America".

When he told supervisors he was not comfortable perpetuating that narrative, Schwab said he was told by the Office of Public Affairs to repeat what was in the February 27 news release and defer questions to the Department of Justice. "But to blame her for 800 unsafe people out there is just false", he continued. But when KQED asked ICE to explain why the targeted people had been classified as threats to public safety, a spokeswoman cited only five, of the 864, who had been convicted of serious crimes.

Schwab told KTVU that the four-day operation last month, which resulted in the arrests of 232 undocumented immigrants, was 'more successful than the agency had hoped'.

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In addition to sparking criticism from the Trump administration, the case also prompted the government to look into whether Schaaf may have broken any laws by sounding the alarm about the pending raid - another front in the clash between federal officials and the leaders of sanctuary cities.

"I'm scared", James Schwab admitted to KTVU. I think she could have had other options. But to blame her for 800 unsafe people out there is just false. "It's a false statement because we never pick up 100% of our targets. And to say they're a type of unsafe criminal is also misleading", he said.

As the days went by, he told CNN, "I just couldn't bear the burden - continuing on as a representative of the agency and charged with upholding integrity, knowing that information was false".

After the raid, Homan accused Schaaf of creating a risky situation for ICE agents.

"Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield risky criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety", Homan said of Schaaf's warning. "Unlike the politicians who attempt to undermine ICE's critical mission, our officers will continue to fulfill their sworn duty to protect public safety".

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"According to Acting Director Homan, ICE failed to make 800 arrests that they would have made if the mayor had not acted as she did". Where they had close to 1,000 people, ready to be gotten, ready to be taken off the streets.

Sessions also repeated a similar estimate in his remarks while visiting Sacramento last week.

ICE officials and Sessions - and at one point President Donald Trump - criticized Schaaf for tipping off immigrants about the raid, which netted 232 suspected undocumented immigrants.

The senior official said ICE has concluded both requests are legal, but he would be satisfied if local law enforcement at least gave the heads-up before release, giving his officers a chance to collect targets before they're released into the community. "How dare you?" he asked the mayor. "I have officers who are more likely now to push back", the official said. The mayor also said the city would be actively working to thwart any efforts of deportation. "The only office she'd be costing herself votes in potentially is president of the United States".

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