At least 800 illegal immigrants avoided deportation thanks to the California mayor who warned her community about a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation that was scheduled to happen "within 24 hours" of her alert on social media.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted the alert on Saturday and assured illegal immigrants that police are "prohibited" from cooperating with federal immigration officials. California became a sanctuary state in 2018.
Acting ICE director Thomas Homan criticized Schaaf for her actions during an interview on Fox News Wednesday morning.
“What she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling 'police' when a police cruiser comes to the neighborhood except she did it to the entire community... This is beyond the pale,” Homan told Fox News.
The mayor's actions are now under review by the Department of Justice, according to Homan.
“I've been doing this 34 years and this is a whole new low to intentionally warn criminals that law enforcement is coming," he said during the interview. "I just can’t believe it happened.”
Homan said Schaaf put ICE agents in harm's way.
“I think what she did was intentionally put law enforcement officers at risk. Look, being a law enforcement officer is dangerous enough. But to give criminals a head’s up we’re coming next 24 hours, increases that risk.”
At least 800 illegal immigrants who've been convicted of crimes and are a threat to public safety.
Holman mentioned Schaaf's comment during a Sunday news conference, when she said, " ... my priority is safety, and that is safety for everyone.”
He said her warning did the opposite because 800 illegal aliens, who are convicted criminals, are still loose on the streets.
"That community is a lot less safe than it would have been,” he said.
Schaaf has not made any apologies for issuing the warning.
“I think it’s my responsibility as a person in power and privilege to share the information I have access to, to make sure people know what their rights are,” Schaaf told the Washington Post Tuesday.
She also posted another message on social media confirming her position.
"I do not regret sharing this information. It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws. We believe our community is safer when families stay together," Schaaf tweeted Tuesday.
I do not regret sharing this information. It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken… https://t.co/MY9VGtzPAo— Libby Schaaf (@Libby Schaaf)1519789264.0