Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

An ICE spokesman quit over the Trump administration's "misleading facts"

An ICE spokesman quit over the Trump administration's

James Schwab, the San Francisco spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), resigned last week over what he claims are false characterizations of immigrants being spread by the Trump administration, according to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Hamed Aleaziz, who first broke the story.

Last week, both Homan and Sessions heavily criticized Oakland Mayor Libby Scaaf for warning the public about immigration raids "as soon as within the next 24 hours".

However, Schwab told the San Francisco Chronicle that he quit because he did not want to give a false number to the public.

"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. "Then I took some time and I quit". He added that ICE knew it was extremely unlikely they would arrest the full target list of roughly 1,000 unauthorized immigrants - not all of whom were criminals.

ICE authorities arrested more than 150 people in Northern California last month, two days after Schaaf warned residents of the impending raids, citing "credible sources".

On Feb. 27, Schwab sent a news release that stated in part, from Acting ICE Director Thomas D. Homan: "The Oakland mayor's decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens - making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold". "Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible. To say that 100 percent are risky criminals on the street, or that those people weren't picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong", Schwab said.

"We were never going to pick up that many people. And to say they're a type of risky criminal is also misleading".

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.

Homan, on the third day of the sweep, was quoted saying, "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".

"I didn't feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against (Schaaf's) actions was the way to go about it", he continued.

Schwab insists that Hamon and Sessions' statements are inaccurate.

CNN has reached out to ICE in Washington and the Department of Justice for comment.

"It's the job of a public affairs officer to offer transparency for the agency you work for." he argued.

In a subsequent statement to The Post, Flores wrote: "Does anyone seriously dispute that the Mayor attempted to thwart the efforts of federal law enforcement to apprehend wanted aliens in Oakland - many of whom had previously been arrested or convicted of crimes ranging from drug trafficking, to domestic abuse, to child pornography?"

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