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California Senior Immigration Official Quits, Accuses Officials of False Statements

California Senior Immigration Official Quits, Accuses Officials of False Statements
(Bryan Cox/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Getty Images)

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 07:14 AM

A U.S. immigration official in Northern California has resigned, accusing the Trump administration of making misleading statements on a recent operation to arrest undocumented immigrants in the area.

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.

James Schwab, former regional spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department (ICE), told the San Francisco Chronicle he has quit his job that he held since 2015 after agency officials would not correct the number, which he believed to be much lower, and asked him to deflect questions from the media about it.

"I quit because I didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts," he told the newspaper. "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."

Schwab also said that even without Schaaf's warning the agency was never going to be able to "capture 100 percent of the target list" of about 1,000 undocumented immigrants in Northern California during the four-day operation, the Chronicle reported.

"I didn't feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against (Schaaf's) actions was the way to go about it," he told the newspaper. "We were never going to pick up that many people. To say ... that those people weren't picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong."

During a four-day sweep in February, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 232 out of a target list of 1,000 undocumented immigrants.

Schaaf on Feb. 24, day before the sweep began, told residents in a statement she had heard from multiple sources of a pending Immigration and Customs Enforcement action in the San Francisco Bay area.

Acting ICE director Thomas Honan said in an statement three days into the sweep that 864 people remained at large.

"I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor's irresponsible decision," he said.

Sessions repeated the 800-person figure during a speech on March 7 and President Donald Trump said the next day that Schaaf's actions prompted federal scrutiny. 

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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A U.S. immigration official in Northern California has resigned, accusing the Trump administration of making misleading statements on a recent operation to arrest undocumented immigrants in the area.
california, immigration, official, quits
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2018-14-13
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 07:14 AM
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