Emails detail how Oakland mayor consulted with illegal immigration activists prior to ICE raids

Emails detail how Oakland mayor consulted with illegal immigration activists prior to ICE raids
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is shown here speaking at a BenchMarks 2016 panel in San Francisco. (Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images)

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf consulted with illegal immigration activists before she tipped off the public about an upcoming ICE raid, Fox News reported. And ICE believes her action allowed hundreds of illegal immigrants to evade detention.

Now Schaaf is under review by the Justice Department.

Why did she do it?

“Oakland has a legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws,” Schaaf said last month. “We believe our community is safer when families stay together.”

Schaaf’s stance has angered both ICE officials and the Trump administration, according to the report.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump said in California, “What happened in Oakland was a disgrace to our nation.”

KPIX-TV obtained emails showing that Schaaf contacted Centro Legal de la Raza hours before the announcement to discuss what employers should do during a raid.

The non-profit group focuses on providing legal aid to those in the country illegally. It also has an “ICE Activity Hotline” listed on its website.

“Centro Legal has been at the forefront of efforts to curtail unlawful collaboration between local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration authorities in order to prevent unjust deportations and keep immigrant families together,” its website states.

Schaaf also spoke with a Catholic priest at St. Jarlath’s Church and Emma Paulino at Oakland Community Organizations, KPIX reported. Paulino appeared with Schaaf during a press conference that warned about the raid.

On Friday, Paulino told Fox News the two discussed whether or not to share the information and how do it in a way to minimize panic.

“It was about if we should share what we know and how to share that information in a responsible way so to not create panic in the community,” Paulino said. “People live in fear already.”

Were her actions illegal?

Families of victims of illegal immigrant crimes and groups that lobby for less migration into the U.S. have called for Schaaf to be prosecuted.

“As far as Libby Schaaf is concerned, what she did is nothing short of obstruction of justice,” Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform told Fox News.

“She is not compelled to assist ICE in doing its job, but she certainly has no right to interfere with ICE carrying out its lawful duties,” Mehlman said. “In our view, the U.S. Department of Justice should look into the matter and prosecute her for obstruction if the circumstances warrant legal action.”