OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Friday continued to defend her recent warning to the community ahead of a large-scale operation by federal immigration authorities.
Speaking to reporters after a ground-breaking ceremony for an affordable housing project in Oakland’s largely Hispanic Fruitvale district, Schaaf said, “I remain confident that my actions were both legal and moral.”
White House officials have suggested that Schaaf may have engaged in obstruction of justice by warning the community before recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in Northern California that resulted in the arrest of about 230 people between Sunday and Wednesday of this week.
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the federal government was looking into Schaaf’s recent actions.
“I think it’s outrageous that a mayor would circumvent federal authorities and put them in danger by making a move such as that,” said Huckabee Sanders. “That is currently under review by the Department of Justice.”
Schaaf has continued to stand by her decision to spread the word of the pending ICE raids that began last Sunday.
“I find it difficult to believe even in today’s America that informing people of their legal rights could be considered illegal,” Schaaf said.
Schaaf said she has met with legal advisers, saying, “I have a lot of legal support coming forward and I remain confident I have acted in both my legal and my moral rights within the confines of the law.”
Schaaf said she and her office have received some angry comments since she issued her warning but she hasn’t received any death threats and isn’t concerned about her safety.
“I did what I believe was right for my community as well as to protect public safety,” Schaaf said. “People should be able to live without fear or panic and know their rights and responsibilities as well as their recourses.”
She called it lie for the Trump Administration to claim that immigrants are dangerous criminals.
“ICE’s own data demonstrated that the majority of the people they’ve arrested had no criminal background,” she said.
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