ICE spokesman in SF resigns and slams Trump administration officials

ICE spokesman in SF resigns and slams Trump administration officials

Immigration officials and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said a public warning from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf the day before the operation began had facilitated more than 800 people to evade arrest.

Schwab said he brought up his concerns to ICE leadership and was told to "deflect to previous statements".

"I quit because I didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts", he told the San Francisco Chronicle, which broke the story.

"I asked them to change the information", he said.

Schwab told the newspaper he tried to get ICE to correct the figures quoted by Sessions and others, but was instead asked to deflect reporters' questions. "Then I took some time and I quit". It's a false statement because we never pick up 100 percent of our targets.

An ICE spokeswoman said that the agency disagrees with Schwab on the issue. "I commend Mr. Schwab for speaking the truth while under intense pressure to lie", she said. Before joining ICE in 2015, Schwab was a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Reserve Element, a public affairs office for the NASA Ames Research Center and a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of Defense.

"According to Acting Director Homan, ICE failed to make 800 arrests that they would have made if the mayor had not acted as she did".

"Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible", Schwab told CNN. ICE San Diego also arrested and detained almost 640 illegal aliens with a criminal history in that same time period.

On the night of February 24, Schaaf announced that the sweep was imminent, saying she had learned about the operation from confidential sources and felt compelled to alert the community.

Data from ICE has also shown that the agency saw a significantly higher rate of arrest for immigrants without a criminal background under the Trump administration, with a 171 percent spike in the share of non-criminals arrested in 2017 compared to the year before.

But officials' statements about the consequences of the warning have shifted.

"However, 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 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". "Those are 800 wanted aliens that are now at large in that community".

ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has hit out at Democrat lawmakers over criticisms in wake of agency's recent crackdown in northern California. "I felt like we weren't doing that", he said.

Of the battle over how to properly characterize the events, Schwab said, "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".

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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