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DOJ reviewing whether California mayor obstructed justice by warning illegals of ICE raid

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The Department of Justice is looking into whether a California "sanctuary cities" mayor obstructed justice by warning residents of impending ICE raids.

What's the history?

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) tweeted an alert Saturday to her 20,000 Twitter followers that she had been notified of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and felt that the raids themselves warranted a public announcement.

According to Schaaf, her intention in publicizing the information was not to cause a panic among residents, but to protect them, and added that police are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration officials.

California became a sanctuary state on Jan. 1.

Despite facing heavy criticism over her move to announce such an event, Schaaf tweeted Tuesday that she had no regrets about sharing the information.

Schaaf captioned her statement, "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."

What was ICE's response to Schaaf's announcement?

Thomas Homan, acting ICE director, criticized Schaaf's move to announce the impending raids.

"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 on Wednesday, adding that he believed her actions helped 800 illegal immigrants avoid deportation.

Homan said that Schaaf's announcement also put ICE agents' lives in danger.

"I’ve been doing this 34 years and this is a whole new low to intentionally warn criminals that law enforcement is coming," Homan continued, noting that he couldn't believe it even happened.

"I think what she did was intentionally put law enforcement officers at risk," he added. "Look, being a law enforcement officer is dangerous enough. But to give criminals a heads-up we’re coming next 24 hours, increases that risk."

Fox News on Wednesday reported that despite Schaaf's announcement, law enforcement arrested about 150 illegal immigrants in the Oakland area as of Tuesday.

What's the DOJ doing now?

The DOJ is currently considering whether Schaaf's announcement obstructed justice.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a Thursday news conference announced that Schaaf's move was under federal review.

"I think it’s outrageous that a mayor would circumvent federal authorities and certainly put them in danger by making a move such as that," Sanders said. "And that’s currently under review by the Department of Justice."

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