ICE spokesman in SF resigns and slams Trump administration officials

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 13, 2018

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 just couldn't bear the burden - continuing on as a representative of the agency and charged with upholding integrity, knowing that information was false", he told CNN on Monday.

"864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor's irresponsible decision", acting ICE Director Thomas Homan stated in the agency's press release about the operation.

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.

Sessions also repeated a similar estimate in his remarks while visiting Sacramento last week.

"Those are 800 wanted criminals that are now at large in that community - 800 wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue with more difficulty in more risky situations, all because of one mayor's irresponsible action", Sessions had said.

"Director Homan and the Attorney General said there were 800 people at large and free to roam because of the actions of the Oakland Mayor", Schwab told CNN. I think she could have had other options.

The next day, President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE said that "close to 1,000" people were expected to be arrested before the mayor issued her warning. "And to say they're a type of risky criminal is also misleading". "Even though those previous statements did not clarify the wrong information".

"I've never been in this situation in 16 nearly 17 years in government where someone asked me to deflect when we absolutely knew something was awry - when the data was not correct" he said.

Schwab also said he is a registered Democrat, but has been a loyal federal servant, regardless of which party is in power.

ICE officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek. "I felt like we weren't doing that", he said.

The president will visit California on Tuesday for the first time as president to inspect prototypes for his proposed border wall along the southern border.

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