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Libby Schaaf, Oakland mayor: ‘I did the right thing’ alerting illegal immigrants of ICE raid

December 28, 2018

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, whose warning about an impending immigration raid in Northern California sparked the ire of the Trump administration earlier this year, said she has no regrets putting the people of her community first.

Ms. Schaaf made national headlines in late February after she sent out a statement tipping off illegal immigrants about an impending raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Over the next couple of days, ICE nabbed more than 200 migrants, but about 800 others targeted by the agency were able to elude arrest.

President Trump called the mayor a “disgrace” and said she should be investigated for obstruction of justice. Several months later, Rep. Steve King introduced the Libby Schaaf Act, which aimed to imprison government officials if they alerted the public to an ICE raid.

“It’s been surreal to turn on the TV and see a bunch of people hold ‘lock her up’ signs and they are talking about me,” Ms. Schaaf told BuzzFeed News in an interview published Wednesday. “It has been surreal to hear the president of the United States reference you, particularly about why the attorney general hasn’t put you in jail yet.”

Ms. Schaaf used Mr. Trump’s criticism to her advantage during her re-election campaign easily beating out nine challengers in November.

“I have no regrets, none,” she told BuzzFeed. “The more time goes by, the more certain I feel that I did the right thing in standing up for our community and pointing out our values are not aligned with our laws.

“That’s hopefully the message that is sent out,” she added.

As for ICE, Ms. Schaaf said building any kind of relationship with the sanctuary city of Oakland is no longer possible.

“This agency has gone astray and has so broken the trust, particularly in cities like mine, I believe we would all be better served to start from scratch,” she said.

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