A California Mayor Stood Up For Immigrants In A Huge (And Controversial) Way

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf doesn't regret warning Oakland's immigrant community of large-scale ICE raid.

Immigration in the United States has always been a hot-button issue. Oakland, Calif., Mayor Libby Schaaf took a controversial stand against Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Feb. 24 when she went on television to warn the city's immigrants of an impending ICE raid the following Tuesday.


Schaaf's move, of course, came under fire by ICE officials. "The Oakland mayor's decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens — making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold," said ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan, according to The Mercury News.

Schaaf, on the other hand, expressed no regret in her actions, calling on Oakland's status as one of many sanctuary cities across the nation to justify her actions. I do not regret sharing this information. "It is Oakland's legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws," she wrote on Twitter while sharing a more in-depth statement. "We believe our community is safer when families stay together."

With her being up for election this year, some are questioning the mayor's motives for the tip off, with Center for Immigration Studies Director of Reseach Steven Camarota telling Oakland's KPIX 5 that Schaaf's actions seem to be "a political stunt." But despite harsh criticism and threats of possible legal action, Schaaf is standing strong. "My priority is for the well-being and safety of all residents — particularly our most vulnerable," she wrote in another statement released to Twitter.

ICE's draconian policies aren't sitting right with some U.S. citizens, with demonstrators surrounding San Francisco's ICE offices after the raids in Northern California to call for the end of immigration-related arrests. Earlier this month, former Montana Department of Labor legal secretary Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts expressed his misgivings to A Plus in an interview, saying, "Our immigration system does not respect people as human beings. And given the way that ICE's tactics and their priorities have changed, it's become a step too far to just kind of go along to get along."

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