The feud between Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions escalated when Schaaf fired back at Sessions after his criticisms of her following a warning she issued to her residents about upcoming imminent raids.
On Wednesday, Sessions announced a federal lawsuit against California over the state’s “sanctuary city” policies. He asked, “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote radical open borders agenda,” he stated, directing the sentiment towards Schaaf.
During a speech at Oakland City Hall later on Wednesday, Schaaf responded to Sessions with “How dare you vilify members of our community by trying to frighten the American public into thinking all undocumented residents are dangerous criminals.”
“How dare you distort the reality about declining violent crime in a diverse sanctuary city like Oakland, California, to advance your racist agenda,” she continued.
“It was not my intention to get caught up in a national debate, but I do believe that I am speaking for the residents of my city,” she added. “The agenda of this administration is petty political vindictiveness.”
The mayor is prepared for a fight to defend the “sanctuary city” policies. During the City Hall event, she also stated that if the Justice Department came looking for trouble and pressed criminal charges against her, a former U.S. attorney who was appointed by former President Barack Obama had already offered to represent her pro bono.
Schaaf’s issued warning was a direct contrast to the Trump administration’s views on immigration.
Since his campaign, President Trump has been harsh on immigrants. Trump claimed that Mexican immigrants were “rapists” and “criminals.” He has also made negative comments about Muslim Americans. His comments are often criticized for coming off as racist.
Schaaf’s warning to Oakland’s residents came as impending immigration raids loomed over the Bay area.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Thomas Homan said that her actions prevented the agency from locating 800 immigrants who were deemed threats to public safety.
Schaaf has repeatedly defended her decision, saying again Wednesday that she intended “not to panic our residents but to protect them.” “I did not intend to put the safety of law enforcement officers at risk,” she said. “I was very careful in not sharing any specific information about these ICE raids that might have endangered law enforcement.”
Immigration raids have devastated communities across the country and have acted with extreme prejudice. Innocent immigrants have been consistently harassed by ICE agents since the Trump administration started strong-arming immigration policy.
Schaaf and many other politicians have been working to undermine Trump’s immigration policies.
H/T: The Hill