Convicts or community members: Immigration war escalates in California

Newell: Shame on the Mayor of Oakland

Newell: Shame on the Mayor of Oakland

A top immigration official said February 28 that about 800 people living illegally in Northern California were able to avoid arrest because of a weekend warning that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf put on Twitter.

The Department of Justice is considering obstruction-of-justice charges against Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for warning illegal immigrants of an impending sweep by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers.

Among the 150 people arrested by ICE in the past few days, include a fugitive and gang member who had been previously been deported four times and others with criminal convictions including assault, DUI and sex with a minor under 16 years old, the agency said.

KTVU asked Schaaf's office who she was referencing and we were told Schaaf talked with community leaders of immigrant groups by phone before tipped off the public. "It is Oakland's legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws". ICE activity creates anxiety in segments of our diverse community and when ICE alerts us about activity in our area, we are subsequently able to communicate with community stakeholders to quell, and not exacerbate fear in our city.

San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell, the Mercury News reported, also was defiant, releasing a statement saying his city won't "cower" as "the administration pursues their political plan of haphazardly punishing sanctuary cities".

Schaaf said Tuesday she "did not regret sharing this information".

ICE officials arrested 212 people and delivered 122 audit notices to businesses in the Los Angeles area earlier this month, and the agency has said it hopes to increase work-site enforcement by 400 percent.

Blank said undocumented immigrants she has worked with now avoid entering courthouses, for fear that ICE officials will be there.

"We must always question the claims ICE makes about its operations, which all too often have proven embarrassingly false", Arreguín said in his statement.

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The document in question, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, outlines why ICE served a deportation notice to Bellingham resident Maru Mora Villalpando in December.

Homan says the Justice Department is looking into whether Schaaf obstructed justice.

The warring words are the latest sign of escalating tension between California officials and the Trump administration over immigration enforcement and "sanctuary" jurisdictions.

Schaaf said Wednesday afternoon she would take the same action again, despite the backlash.

Homan, in announcing the arrests late Tuesday, renewed his warning that California's limits on cooperating with ICE in local jails will lead to a bigger presence of immigration agents on the streets.

Joe Murolo - an employee at the courthouse clerk's office - and other courthouse employees said they were not aware of any ICE agents entering the courthouse to arrest undocumented immigrants.

FILE - In this May 13, 2016 file photo, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, speaks at a news conference in Oakland, Calif.

The mayor also fired back at President Donald Trump, saying, "I hope we take this moment to recognize that we need to fight against the racist myth that the Trump administration is trying to perpetuate, that immigrants are unsafe". He said because of that the Oakland community is a lot less safe than it would have been. "We just want to make sure you remain silent until you get an attorney", said Pastor Trena Turner, executive director of Faith in the Valley.

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