The spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's office in San Francisco resigned last week, saying he could not echo statements made by the Trump administration and ICE officials regarding Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's recent warning about immigration raids that he knew to be false.
"While we can't put a number on how many targets avoided arrest due to the mayor's warning, it clearly had an impact", ICE spokeswoman Liz Johnson said. I think she could have had other options.
"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.More news: Terror Police Investigate 'Unexplained' Death Of Russian Exile Nikolai Glushkov
Homan said the minority house leader's comments were "beyond the pale", asserting that 88 percent of the people arrested in the Northern California raids were convicted criminals. "We were never going to pick up that many people".
On Monday, Schaaf applauded Schwab's decision to resign.
"The people we arrested during this California operation - [who have committed] lascivious acts with a juvenile, assault with deadly weapons, murder - these people were terrorizing immigrant communities", Homan said to FOX Business' Stuart Varney on "Varney & Co". But she suggested that 800 immigrants had not evaded arrest because of Schaaf's warning. "Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible". ICE reported arresting 232 undocumented immigrants in regions from the Central Valley to the northern reaches of the state. But, when he brought his concerns to ICE, he said they told him to direct reporters to statements ICE or Homan had already made - to "deflect to previous statements", as he put it.
Data from ICE has also shown that the agency saw a significantly higher rate of arrest for immigrants without a criminal background under the Trump administration, with a 171 percent spike in the share of non-criminals arrested in 2017 compared to the year before.More news: Shia LaBeouf Offered His Clothes to Kanye West, Who Took Them All
After Homan said, "I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us", he went further, saying on February 28, "There's 800 that we are unable to locate because of that warning, so that community is a lot less safe than it would have been".
"It's the job of a public-affairs officer to offer transparency for the agency you work for", Schwab told the Chronicle.
"Those are 800 wanted aliens that are now at large in that community -most are wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue with more difficulty in more unsafe situations, all because of one mayor's irresponsible action".
"I didn't feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against [the mayor's] actions was the way to go about it", Schwab told the Chronicle.More news: Baystate Wealth Management LLC Purchases 300 Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH)
Of the battle over how to properly characterize the events, Schwab said, "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".