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California Senior Immigration Official Quits, Accuses Officials of False Statements

13 March 2018

"Then I took some time and I quit".

James Schwab, the San Francisco spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), resigned last week over what he claims are false characterizations of immigrants being spread by the Trump administration, according to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Hamed Aleaziz, who first broke the story. After the raid, a Homeland Security official said it's common for a large-scale immigration sweep to net about a third of its targets, as member station KQED reports.

"It's the job of a public affairs officer to offer transparency for the agency you work for", Schwab told the Chronicle. We were never going to pick up that many people. "To say that 100 percent are risky criminals on the street, or that those people weren't picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong", Schwab said.

"Just last week, President Trump chose to terrorize innocent immigrant families in the Bay Area with his unjust and cruel raids", Pelosi had said on Wednesday, referencing the ICE operation.

He explained that the enforcement agency would have been unlikely to capture all of the roughly 1,000 undocumented immigrants in the area that it had targeted, and that it was incorrect to identify those who were not detained as threats to public safety.

ICE said while they disagreed with Schwab's take on the issue, they wished him well. "Those are 800 wanted criminals that are now at large, 800 wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue by other means, with more difficulty, in risky situations, all because of one irresponsible action", Sessions said during his visit last week to California.

"I commend Mr. Schwab for speaking the truth while under intense pressure to lie", she said in a statement to The Post.

Schwab told several media outlets that the statement was false, in part, because ICE raids never result in the arrest of 100 percent of the targets. He depicts immigrants as criminals - and those who defend them as criminals.

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Of the battle over how to properly characterize the events, Schwab said, "I've never been in this situation in 16, nearly 17 years in government where someone asked me to deflect when we absolutely knew something was awry - when the data was not correct".

Schaaf has spent a great deal of time looking at ICE raids, meeting with ICE, and understanding what's going on.

The ICE operation, called Keep Safe, began on February 25, and was meant to show California leaders that the state's sanctuary city laws preventing local police from assisting ICE agents could not protect undocumented immigrants, the Chronicle reported.

ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has hit out at Democrat lawmakers over criticisms in wake of agency's recent crackdown in northern California. "Those are 800 wanted aliens that are now at large in that community".

Trump said in a Cabinet meeting, "What the mayor of Oakland did the other day was a disgrace. The mayor of Oakland went out, and she went out and warned them all: scatter".

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

In the weeks following Schaaf's tip-off, Homan, Sessions, and Trump all lambasted the Oakland mayor and cited similar figures.

In response, Schaaf said, "How dare you vilify members of our community by trying to frighten the American public into thinking that all undocumented residents are unsafe criminals?". Jerry Brown slammed the lawsuit as one of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "political stunts" meant to "divide and polarize America". The mayor also said the city would be actively working to thwart any efforts of deportation.

California Senior Immigration Official Quits, Accuses Officials of False Statements