In an article on Monday in the San Francisco Chronicle, ICE Spokesman James Schwab told reporters that he was tired of carrying water for the Trump administration and the ICE officials above him loyal to Trump, after he was told to repeat a blatant lie following the Northern California “sweep” aimed at confounding sanctuary laws implemented by cities in the state.
Schwab resigned over the affair.
ICE agents arrested 232 undocumented immigrants in the 4-day operation, which sought to undermine the completely-legal policies instituted by California Governor Jerry Brown when he signed SB54, statewide sanctuary law that gave cities and municipalities the authority to refuse assistance to the federal government during immigration operations.
After the sweep, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as well as ICE officials, claimed that the early “warning” to residents of the Oakland area by Mayor Libby Schaaf resulted in the escape of more than 800 undocumented immigrants. A February 27 statement from ICE said:
“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.”
Sessions, visiting the capital in Sacramento, sounded much the same:
“Those are 800 wanted criminals that are now at large in that community — 800 wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue with more difficulty in more dangerous situations, all because of one mayor’s irresponsible action.”
Schwab took issue with the figures being cited by Sessions and ICE, saying that “we were not ever going to be able to capture 100 percent of the target list,” and that he “didn’t feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against her actions was the way to go about it.”
The spokesman had worked for the agency for three years, and upon his resignation last week, was blunt about the facts:
“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.”
That’s what ethics in the Trump administration requires now — that you leave entirely, because the corruption and lies just don’t stop.
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