Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan said that “dangerous” sanctuary city policies will only open the door for more deaths down the road.
Homan, speaking on Thursday’s “Fox & Friends,” noted that Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf’s public announcement regarding an impending ICE raid sabotaged the federal government’s efforts to round up illegal immigrants.
What’s the background?
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) tweeted an alert in February 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.
Even though Schaaf preemptively announced the impending raids on her social media account before they were set to happen, officials were still able to arrest more than 200 illegal immigrants in the area.
Approximately 180 of those arrested “were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed.”
As a result, Thomas Homan — acting ICE director — announced that the Department of Justice would be launching an investigation as to whether Schaaf obstructed justice.
So what did Homan say now?
Homan explained that Schaaf’s warning created a public safety problem that resulted in many dangerous illegals hiding in the city, and who could have otherwise been rounded up and arrested.
“[Schaaf] let the criminal aliens that we had targeted for arrest, gave them an advanced notice law enforcement was coming for them. And many criminal aliens were not apprehended because of that warning,” Homan explained. “I can’t put a specific number on it, but a lot of criminal aliens were not found because they were given advance warning by the mayor, which increased a public safety issue in her area. We’ve got criminal aliens walking around that community that are now in hiding because of her warning.”
Homan continued, noting that sanctuary cities only cause more illegal immigration.
“When you call yourself a sanctuary city, you’re dangling that carrot which is going to cause more illegal immigration. They’re going to see more illegal immigration in the state of California. And it’s more than just an enforcement issue,” Homan noted. “More people are going to die trying to come to this country because they think they can get to a state or a city where they’re going to be shielded from immigration enforcement. It’s wrong on many different levels.”