Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf declared on Friday that reports of federal immigration officials making sweeps and arrests in her area are making many of the city’s residents nervous.
“The level of fear and anxiety in this community is at unconscionable levels,” Schaaf said.
Schaaf aimed directly at President Trump saying, “It is no surprise that the bully in chief is continuing to try to intimidate our most vulnerable residents.”
But she said, “We’re very clear that our values are to protect all of our residents regardless of where we come from. We want to protect families, not tear them apart.”
Schaaf continued, “We are exercising our legal right to be a sanctuary city. The fact that the federal government is suggesting that it is actively retaliating against jurisdictions that are exercising their right to have sanctuary policies – that is what is illegal.”
When asked if she was willing to go to jail in her defense of immigrants in the city of Oakland, the mayor said, “Yes!”
The Schaaf made it clear that Oakland police will not help U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials if they conduct raids in her city.
“Our policy is that Oakland is hands-off,” Schaaf said.
Schaaf’s comments were bolstered by Oakland City Council voting unanimously on Tuesday night to clarify that the city’s Police Department will not provide any assistance, including traffic support, to ICE officials if they conduct any sweeps in the city.
City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan wrote the following resolution:
“It is not acceptable for the Oakland administration to collude with ICE, as this federal agency is targeting non-criminals, harassing people based on their national origin, and undermining our justice system,” Kaplan said in a statement.
“The head of ICE under Trump (Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan) has publicly stated that his intention is to strike fear into communities, and now he is targeting California and cities like Oakland,” Kaplan said.
“The actions of ICE worsen community-police relations, and make everyone less safe, by causing victims and witnesses of crime to be afraid to come forward,” she said.
The resolution described Homan’s “threat against public officials who oppose the targeting of immigrants” as “entirely inappropriate for someone running a law enforcement agency, as it perpetuates racial prejudice, and weakens the community-police relations that are vital to stopping serious crime.”
Kaplan said, “I continue to stand opposed to such actions, and will continue to denounce, and refuse to collude in, Trump’s racist agenda.”
Kaplan’s resolution ended with these paragraphs
“The politicians who crafted this proposal either do not understand – or simply choose to ignore – basic facts. Just like other federal law enforcement agencies, ICE officers and agents are sworn to uphold federal law and arrest those in violation of the law. It is wrong and deeply offensive to impugn the integrity of the thousands of men and women law enforcement officers of ICE by accusing them of being racists, harassers, and underminers of the judicial system — all for doing their sworn duty to enforce the law.
If members of the Oakland city council are truly concerned about undermining the rule of law and about public safety, perhaps they should look in the mirror. Sanctuary cities knowingly and intentionally release criminal aliens, who are already in the country in violation of the law, back onto the streets where they can reoffend in the very communities they live in – threatening public safety. Further, because these policies prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, our officers are forced to make arrests in the community, where there is increased risk to the public and law enforcement officers, and where ICE will likely encounter other illegal aliens that weren’t previously on our radar. So in fact, sanctuary policies do the opposite of what the politicians claim they do. It defies common sense to demand that ICE focus efforts only on criminal aliens while at the same time limiting our access to the jails. Fewer jail arrests mean more arrests on the street, and that also requires more resources.
Finally, for politicians to prohibit one law enforcement agency from assisting another law enforcement agency with a public safety mission, such as traffic support, is unconscionable and poses dangers for local communities and for the brave men and women who carry the badge. It also sends a message to the community that encourages disrespect and interference in lawful ICE operations. I am saddened by the Oakland city council’s obvious lack of concern for law enforcement officers’ well-being and their careless disregard for their own responsibility to protect public safety. Those who put politics and their political ambitions over public safety and officer safety should talk to the victims of crimes perpetrated by criminal aliens to put the decisions they make into perspective.”
What do you think is going to happen to Mayor Schaaf and her city’s leadership?
Credit: Fox KTVU