ICE Spokesman Resigns Because Trump Administration Spreads Falsehoods

ICE Spokesman Resigns Because Trump Administration Spreads Falsehoods

Specifically, James Schwab, 38, said he left his position because of claims from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting ICE Director Tom Homan that 800 undocumented immigrants escaped arrest last month due to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's public warning of potential ICE raids.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Schwab said he had asked officials to correct the number, which he understood to be significantly lower, but was instead told to "deflect" questions from the media.

Schwab insists that Hamon and Sessions' statements are inaccurate.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency claimed as many as 800 undocumented immigrants evaded arrest in a targeted operation in northern California as a result of a mayor's warning to residents.

"I quit because I didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts", he told the San Francisco Chronicle, which broke the story. Homan said that "864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor's irresponsible decision".

The ICE director went further the next day, according to the Chronicle, when he said "there's 800 that we are unable to locate because of that warning" - essentially blaming all the escapees on the mayor.

"I've never been in this situation in 16 nearly 17 years in government where someone asked me to deflect when we absolutely knew something was awry - when the data was not correct" he said.

Schaaf commended Schwab's resignation Monday, telling the Washington Post, "I commend Mr. Schwab for speaking the truth while under intense pressure to lie. Then I took some time and I quit", Schwab said.

The controversy came amid a broader push in which the Trump administration cracked down on immigration in California.

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While announcing a raid that yielded 232 arrests in Northern California, ICE suggested that California's laws increased the likelihood that immigrants without criminal convictions would face detainment.

Schwab said he took issue with their characterization.

The senior official also gave sanctuary cities a choice: either allow his deportation officers in their jails to arrest illegal immigrants, or else he'll have to send the officers out into the streets to get people in the communities.

Mr. Schwab told CNN that he thought Ms. Schaaf's actions were "misguided", but that blaming her "for 800 risky people out there is just false".

Schwab's departure follows the February resignation of a Montana Labor Department worker Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts who quit his job as a legal assistant after being told he'd have to process labor records subpoenas for ICE. "Even one criminal alien on the street can put public safety at risk", she said in a statement. Schwab told CNN he'd "never" been in a situation "where someone asked me to deflect when we absolutely knew something was awry".

Sanctuary cities are actually enticing more people to pay smugglers to help them make the risky trek north, not only putting people at risk but also enriching the smuggling cartels themselves, a senior administration official said Monday. "Our democracy depends on public servants who act with integrity and hold transparency in the highest regard".

"It's the job of a public affairs officer to offer transparency for the agency you work for." he argued.

ICE could not immediately be reached for comment by The Post regarding Schwab's assertions that it had released false and misleading information.

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.

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