The San Francisco spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has reportedly resigned because of what he viewed as false statements from the Trump administration and ICE about recent immigration sweeps in Northern California.
Schwab admitted to CNN that he was advised to "deflect to previous statements" in regards to information surrounding Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's decision to warn the community of an upcoming ICE raid.
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.
ICE spokesperson Liz Johnson issued the following statement regarding Schwab's resignation.
"The more people I have in the jail the less people I have to send out on the street to look for them", the official said, speaking on condition he not be named as part of a background briefing set up by the White House ahead of President Trump's trip to California Tuesday. It was when Schwab presented the issue to ICE leadership that they advised him to deflect to statements that he alleges "did not clarify the wrong information". "Then I took some time and I quit", Schwab said.
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.
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"Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield unsafe criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety", Homan said of Schaaf's warning.
"Those 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 unsafe situations, all because of one mayor's irresponsible action", Sessions had said. Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible.
Schwab said he took issue with their characterization. About half of the people picked up had felonies or misdemeanors on their records, officials say.
Sanctuary cities are actually enticing more people to pay smugglers to help them make the risky trek north, not only putting people at risk but also enriching the smuggling cartels themselves, a senior administration official said Monday. But his statement that placing blame on Schaaf for "800 risky people out there is just false" does peel back the curtain on a small part of a government that's all too comfortable spreading misinformation. Schwab appears to be the first official casualty of that PR war. A spokesperson instead referred to Homan's original statement regarding the 864 people "at large".
Schwab's departure follows the February resignation of a Montana Labor Department worker Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts who quit his job as a legal assistant after being told he'd have to process labor records subpoenas for ICE. Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand MORE said that Homan had told him "ICE failed to make 800 arrests that they would have made if the mayor had not acted as she did".
Their claims were questioned by critics - and now by Schwab, a veteran public affairs officer who had worked at the Defense Department and NASA. "I felt like we weren't doing that", Schwab said.