U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman in San Francisco, James Schwab, resigned. He credits his resignation to “false” and “misleading” statements made by government officials. He specifically included Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan.
Schwab explained to news outlets that Sessions and Homan made statements that it was possible hundreds of “criminal aliens” were able to avoid an ICE raid in Northern California in February because the Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaff, gave the immigrant community advance notice of the impending raid.
James Schwab expressed discomfort at the narrative Sessions and Homan were painting, but was told by ICE that he was to “deflect” questions. According to Schwab, “I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts…I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that. Then I took some time, and I quit.”
Through the February raid, ICE took hold of 232 suspected undocumented immigrants. In a statement made by Homan, he said, “864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor’s irresponsible decision. Unlike the politicians who attempt to undermine ICE’s critical mission, our officers will continue to fulfill their sworn duty to protect public safety.”
Sessions made a statement saying the undocumented immigrants who might have evaded the raid “are 800 wanted criminals that are now at large in that community—800 wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue with more difficulty in more dangerous situations, all because of one mayor’s irresponsible action.
Schwab said that placing the blame on the mayor and the claim that 800 undocumented immigrants escaped were infactual. He said, “I didn’t feel like fabricating the truth…to say that 100 percent are dangerous criminals on the street, or that those people weren’t picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong.”
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