Former ICE spokesman James Schwab pointed to statements made by Acting ICE Director Tom Homan and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who have stated that Schaaf's warning February 24 about an ICE raid in Northern California resulted in several hundred undocumented immigrants from eluding arrest, according to multiple media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, KTVU and CNN.
"Those are 800 wanted aliens that are now at large in that community -most are wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue with more difficulty in more risky situations, all because of one mayor's irresponsible action".
Schwab said that, before resigning, as he was faced with questions from reporters about Homan's and Sessions's comments, he hoped he could set the record straight and correct the idea that hundreds of unsafe criminals got away thanks to Schaaf. "To say that 100% are unsafe criminals on the street, or that those people weren't picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong".
"The people we arrested during this California operation - [who have committed] lascivious acts with a juvenile, assault with deadly weapons, murder - these people were terrorizing immigrant communities", Homan said to FOX Business' Stuart Varney on "Varney & Co". "And to say they're a type of risky criminal is also misleading", he said.
He also stated that though he pushed back on those statements and wanted the agency to correct the "800" number frequently used in reference to the amount of "criminal aliens" who escaped the raid, ICE told him to "deflect" questions from the media. He believes the number of undocumented immigrants who have evaded capture due to Oakland Mayor Libby Schwab's public warning before the immigration raids began, were overstated by the agency. "Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible".
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He also told CNN that, typically, ICE never arrests 100 percent of people it initially targets in an operation, creating a misleading picture that the missed arrests in the recent Northern California operation were unusual.
The Oakland mayor has continued to defend her decision to alert residents, previously saying she had a "moral obligation" to "protect" her constituents, adding that "Oakland is a city of law-abiding immigrants and families who deserve to live free from the constant threat of arrest and deportation".
President Donald Trump didn't stay behind in fabricating the figures as he said "close to 1,000" would have gotten arrested if the mayor hadn't issued her warning. I think she could have had other options. Schwab told CNN he'd "never" been in a situation "where someone asked me to deflect when we absolutely knew something was awry".
Also last week, Sessions announced a lawsuit against California for impeding federal immigration enforcement and said, "You can be sure I'm going to use every power I have to stop that".
The Justice Department and ICE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The president will visit California on Tuesday for the first time as president to inspect prototypes for his proposed border wall along the southern border.