ICE Spokesman Quits Over Trump's 'Misleading' Attack on Oakland Mayor

Posted: Mar 14, 2018 11:00 AM
ICE Spokesman Quits Over Trump's 'Misleading' Attack on Oakland Mayor

James Schwab will no longer speak for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, citing President Trump's "misleading facts." The president, Schwab said, was wrong to attack Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf over her actions in a recent ICE raid. Schaaf sent out a warning to the Bay Area community that agents would be patrolling the area for illegal immigrants within the next 24 hours. When ICE arrived, they were only able to find about 232 of the 864 illegal immigrants reported there.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said "shame" on Schaaf, and Trump called her a "disgrace," both essentially blaming her for ICE only managing to capture one-third of their targets.

Schwab, who was spokesman for ICE for, is quitting over the administration's narrative, which he says is false. The numbers in the Bay Area, he explained, are consistent with how ICE usually fares in a raid.

"I didn't feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against [the mayor's] actions was the way to go about it," Schwab told the Chronicle. "We were never going to pick up that many people. To say that 100 percent are dangerous criminals on the street, or that those people weren't picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong."

He asked them to change the information, but they asked him to deflect. Then he "took some time and quit."

While Schwab believes the mayor's decision to give the community a heads up about the raid was "misguided and not responsible," he said to blame her for ICE's inability to round up 800 dangerous people is "just false."

That, however, is not the story told by ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan. After their (very public) raid, Homan said Schaaf's warning could account for their lack of arrests. 

"I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor's irresponsible decision," he said at the time.

The Department of Justice is looking into whether Schaaf broke any laws when she published that warning. She has no regrets.

Meanwhile, Trump is running full speed ahead on his immigration plans. On Tuesday, he visited California to review some border wall prototypes.