ICE raid nabs 11 across Northern California this weekend, Mayor Schaaf receives threats
POSTED: FEB 26 2018 09:29PM PST
VIDEO POSTED: FEB 26 2018 05:29PM PST
UPDATED: FEB 27 2018 05:04AM PST
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU/AP) - Hundreds of people are inundating Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s office with angry phone calls, some accusing her of treason, after she warned residents of upcoming immigration raids over the weekend.
The Alameda County Immigration Legal and Education Partnership said they had confirmed at least 11 ICE deportation arrests in the region Sunday in the following counties: one in Napa County, two in Sacramento County, two in Contra Costa , one in Monterey, and five in Merced County.
A spokesman for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Monday the calls and social media messages are largely from out of state and say she should be removed from office.
Spokesman Justin Berton said the messages include threats of physical harm and derogatory comments about her gender. Police are monitoring.
A man from South Carolina left a message on the mayor’s Facebook account saying he was praying that an undocumented person would harm one of her family members.
Another man left a voice mail: “And the little creepy mayor of Oakland ought to be the first one to get cuffed for treason, and drag her out of the mayorship,” he said.
Despite the threats, the mayor is standing by her decision to warn people about the raids and remains focused on her job. She doubled down, saying it was her obligation as mayor to look out for the well being of her residents.
Over the weekend, Schaaf said she didn’t want to panic people, but instead issued the warning to protect them after receiving tips from what she called “multiple credible sources” about impending raids.
“Many decisions that I make have risks and rewards. I do not regret sharing this information. I felt that it was my duty to share the information I had. I note that it was legal what I did. it is important that people know their rights and responsibilities and resources that are available to them in this community,” Schaaf said.
California and the city of Oakland are sanctuary entities that severely limit local cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
An ICE spokesman in San Francisco issued a statement on Monday about rumors of a larger-scale Bay Area operation saying in part, “While the vast majority of cities in America do cooperate with ICE, others force ICE to assign additional resources to conduct at-large arrests in the community. Sanctuary cities and states are not immune from federal law.”
The mayor’s warning marks the latest escalation of tensions between California officials and the Trump administration.
An immigrant rights attorney said people should know what to do if they get arrested by ICE.
“You do not have to open the door or talk to ICE unless they have a court-issued warrant. And very few times does ICE come with that kind of warrant,” said Linda Tam, an immigrant rights attorney.
“Contact your family members, have them contact a lawyer and there are lots of resources here in the Bay Area for people who are detained and do not sign away your rights to a hearing before an immigration judge,” Tam said.
Schaaf’s unusual alert this weekend also follows months of criticism of her decision to allow Oakland police to direct traffic during an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid in August.
A Democrat who is seeking re-election this year, Schaaf has been trying to demonstrate her support for the immigrant community ever since.
She says it’s her “duty and moral obligation” to warn families. But critics say her warning likely has caused panic and it’s not just from conservatives.
“ICE is using rumors of raids in order to scare people,” said Rebecca Kaplan, an Oakland City Council Member, who added that in the past, “We’ve seen immigrant communities refraining from reporting crimes, and keeping their kids out of school and refraining from going to the hospital when they need care.”
Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo, has questioned the way the mayor went about this saying her warning has caused more anxiety.
KTVU’s Henry K. Lee and Jana Katsuyama contributed to this report.