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The Trump Administration’s war against California and the dueling visions for the country will be on center stage today as President Trump visits the state. Undoubtedly, Trump will utter inanities about a stupid wall. Most likely, he will also attack a state that refuses to be conscripted into Trump’s mass deportation strategy out its commitment to welcoming immigrants and ensuring public safety for all.
The President’s narrative, building on caustic comments in recent days from the likes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan, is undercut by the news of a Bay Area ICE spokesperson’s resignation. Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Hamed Aleaziz breaks the story that local ICE spokesperson James Schwab resigned as a result of the Trump Administration’s purposeful lies about the actions and implications of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s decision to alert the surrounding community of impending ICE raids.
“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” said Schwab, 38, who was hired in 2015 and resigned last week. “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.
…“I didn’t feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against (Schaaf’s) actions was the way to go about it,” he said. “We were never going to pick up that many people. To say that 100 percent are dangerous criminals on the street, or that those people weren’t picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong.”
“I just couldn’t bear the burden — continuing on as a representative of the agency and charged with upholding integrity, knowing that information was false.”
Aleaziz also highlights how President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and ICE Director Thomas Homan have each perpetuated the lies:
“Sessions, speaking in Sacramento on Wednesday, said he had learned from Homan that “ICE failed to make 800 arrests that they would have made if the mayor had not acted as she did. Those are 800 wanted aliens that are now at large in that community.”
A day later, President Trump said ICE had been prepared to arrest “close to 1,000 people” before Schaaf’s warning.
That same day, Homan said in an appearance on Fox News that “many criminal aliens were not apprehended because of that warning. I can’t put a specific number on it.”
The news underscores the accuracy of Gov. Jerry Brown’s initial reaction to the lawsuit, with the Governor tweeting that AG Sessions was seeking to, “further divide and polarize America” and labeling the effort a “political stunt.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The Trump Administration is more interested in playing politics and deporting deeply-rooted immigrants than in protecting public safety in California’s diverse communities. We all know that Trump lies on a daily basis. Now Sessions and Homan are following suit. They are not interested in letting the facts get in the way of the anti-immigrant story they are trying to tell. Fortunately for the country, another patriotic public servant refuses to go along and resigns on principle. James Schwab, we salute you. As for the President, the Attorney General and the ICE Director, your lies will haunt you. We intend to make sure of it.”