OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Three months after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf alerted the Bay Area about an impeding ICE raid, a Republican congressman introduced a bill Monday that could send any official to prison if they make such a warning.
The bill is actually called the Libby Schaaf Act. Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa introduced it.
He tweeted, “How many rabid, violent MS-13 animals do mayors like @LibbySchaaf allow to prey on our citizens when they obstruct ice raids? Too many!”
Mayor Schaaf fired back on CNN Monday.
“I can tell you that I know a lot more about what makes my community safe than a Congress member from Iowa,” said Schaaf during an interview.
The mayor of Oakland says bullies in Washington are trying to intimidate her over sanctuary city policies that she insists are making Oakland safer. Polls show people across the country — even here in the Bay Area — are divided on the issue.
Some immigrants do cause crimes. We all know that most don’t. In fact, the crime rate among immigrants is lower than the non-immigrant community. But that said, there are people who believe immigrants do commit crimes and they should be put in jail. And those people see Schaaf as a person who is protecting criminals.
“Well, I want this country to have the conversation that is needed about the immigration system,” Schaaf responded when speaking to KPIX 5 Monday. “The fact is, communities that are seeing increases in their immigrant populations are actually becoming safer. But this system is not working. It’s ripping families apart and it’s endangering our economy.”
Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon countered Monday, saying the mayor put federal agents and the public in harm’s way.
“She simply chose to put the safety of a small number of criminals being targeted by the federal authorities over the safety of law-abiding residents,” said Dhillon. She put people in a lot of danger. You know, when criminals know the police are coming for them, they have time to flee; time to involve others in their criminality. People who were wanted by the authorities for drug dealing, sex trafficking and domestic violence, they were not arrested.”
The Libby Schaaf Act calls for a prison sentence of five years for anyone warning individuals of ICE activity. It’s not clear whether the bill will pass in Congress or even pass constitutional muster.