ICE Spokesman Resigns Over Trump Administration's 'Misleading' Statements on Raid


Former ICE spokesman James Schwab pointed to statements made by Acting ICE Director Tom Homan and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who have stated that Schaaf's warning February 24 about an ICE raid in Northern California resulted in several hundred undocumented immigrants from eluding arrest, according to multiple media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, KTVU and CNN.

Visiting Sacramento, Sessions said, "So here's my message for Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?"

He pointed out that the criminal illegal immigrants ICE targeted in recent raids were the ones who were actually terrorizing immigrant communities, as they are charged with serious offenses such as assault and murder. Then Trump characterized Schaaf's action as "a disgrace," and said ICE was going to arrest "close to 1,000 people", but only got "a fraction" because of her warning. Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts wrote a piece in mid-February detailing his hard decision to resign as legal secretary for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry because he didn't want to help process documents that could help ICE track down and deport undocumented immigrants. The four-day sweep still resulted in more than 200 arrests, but Homan said more than 800 "removable aliens" avoided arrest, blaming Schaff's warning.

As the regional ICE spokesman, Schwab said this week, he had wanted to set the record straight.

Mayor Schaaf also responded to Schwab's decision to resign, saying she was proud he told "the truth while under intense pressure to lie".

In contrast, the share of people with criminal convictions arrested by ICE went up by only 17 percent within the same amount of time.

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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".

Following up this February 27 statement, Sessions mirrored these remarks while visiting Sacramento last week, saying, "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 risky situations, all because of one mayor's irresponsible action". "To say that 100% are unsafe criminals on the street, or that those people weren't picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong".

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'd never have someone say, 'Why do I have to call an interpreter?"

ICE spokesperson Liz Johnson issued the following statement regarding Schwab's resignation.

Homan said the minority house leader's comments were "beyond the pale", asserting that 88 percent of the people arrested in the Northern California raids were convicted criminals. "We believe in the rule of law and one criminal alien victimizing residents of Oakland is one too many".

In the weeks following Schaaf's tip-off, Homan, Sessions, and Trump all lambasted the Oakland mayor and cited similar figures. I think she could have had other options. "Our democracy depends on public servants who act with integrity and hold transparency in the highest regard", the mayor said.