Oakland is ground zero right now in the Trump-Sessions v. California war. If you missed all the excitement, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced an ICE raid 24 hours before it took place, incurring the wrath of both ICE and Jeff Sessions. The Hill:
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan likened Schaaf’s actions to that of a “gang lookout” and said that more than 800 criminal aliens were able to escape the raid as a result of her warning. Homan has long insisted that by prohibiting state and local officials from cooperating, ICE agents are forced to deal with illegal aliens at their residences and other places that increase the danger to both sides. Homan and others have suggested that Schaaf and politicians who act similarly should face obstruction of justice charges.
“Here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?” said Sessions. “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement officers to promote a radical, open borders agenda?”
“How dare you distract the American people from a failed immigration system that tears apart decent families and forces the workers that our economy depends on to harvest our crops, deliver our services, and build our cities to live in fear and work under oppressed conditions,” Schaaf said. “How dare you distort the reality about declining violent crime rates in a diverse, sanctuary city like Oakland to advance a racist agenda.”
Sessions has been foaming at the mouth, claiming that California’s sanctuary cities laws violate the Supremacy Clause and the wingnut commentators are all coming out of the woodwork to declaim about “the disconnect between open borders politicians and reality.”
Then Trump and Sessions both
lied about exaggerated the situation, to strike back at Schaaf.
Last Wednesday in Sacramento, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Homan had told him “ICE failed to make 800 arrests that they would have made if the mayor had not acted as she did. Those are 800 wanted aliens that are now at large in that community.”
The next day, President Trump said that “close to 1,000” people were expected to be arrested before the mayor issued her warning.
That prompted ICE spokesman James Schwab to quit. San Francisco Chronicle:
“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” said Schwab, 38, who was hired in 2015 and resigned last week. “I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that. Then I took some time and I quit.”
Schwab said the statements about immigrants evading arrest, which were widely quoted in an array of media outlets, were misleading “because we were not ever going to be able to capture 100 percent of the target list” of roughly 1,000 undocumented immigrants in Northern California.
“I didn’t feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against (Schaaf’s) actions was the way to go about it,” he said. “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.”
Mayor Schaaf praised Schwab’s action. “I commend Mr. Schwab for speaking the truth while under intense pressure to lie,” she said. “Our democracy depends on public servants who act with integrity and hold transparency in the highest regard.”
This ICE operation, dubbed Keep Safe was intended to send a message to California that Washington was not going to allow them to shield immigrants from federal law. Now California has sent a message to Washington and Jeff Sessions in particular, that he is a racist thug and his efforts to persecute, and prosecute, in this state will not go unchallenged.
A few days after all this the City of Oakland Finance Committee announced a boycott of companies that help build Trump’s wall.
— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) March 14, 2017
“It doesn’t reflect our values as a city… and tax dollars should not be used to create barriers across our barriers across our border that prohibit commerce and trade and certainly separate families…as well as does nothing to solve our immigration problems as a community,” said Oakland City Council member Abel Guillen.
We’ll see what the Orange Orating Orangutan has to say about this. Meanwhile, a 78 year old Democrat in San Diego that I spoke to during the campaign told me, “If Donald Trump puts one brick on the ground to build a wall, I’ll pick it up and hit Darryl Issa in the head with it.”
Trump’s wall is like the horizon, the closer he gets to it, the more it recedes.