On Tuesday night, the Trump Justice Department sued the state of California over its defiance of federal law through its various "sanctuary state" policies, which shield illegal immigrants, including those with criminal records, from federal immigration authorities. The lawsuit comes just over a week after progressive Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off illegal immigrants in her area about an ICE sweep. ICE has since provided some more details about the kinds of people who were able to evade capture after Schaaf's potentially illegal warning.
On February 24, Schaaf issued a public statement about a series of potential ICE raids she said she'd learned about from "multiple credible sources." Here's the statement she tweeted out:
"It is Oakland's legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws," said Schaaf later that week after her warning came under scrutiny by the DOJ and the White House. "We believe our community is safer when families stay together." Though she defended the supposed legality of her actions, Schaaf said in January that she’d be willing to go to jail over her sanctuary policies.
ICE has now revealed more specifics about the criminal illegal immigrants arrested as well as the 800 or so who managed to evade capture, potentially because of Schaaf's tip-off.
In a four-day raid, ICE arrested 232 illegal immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Of those, 180 were convicted criminals, had been deported before, or had been given final orders to leave the U.S., said ICE. About half of those arrested, 115 "had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors."
Fox News dug a little deeper and learned that among the crimes committed were "aggravated assault, murder, hit-run, lewd acts with a minor, burglary, cruelty toward a child, indecent exposure, domestic violence, drug trafficking, battery, sex offenses and false imprisonment."
An ICE spokesperson also provided the outlet more details about some of the 800 criminal illegal immigrants who evaded capture last week:
One Mexican citizen had convictions for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), and had been deported in 2003.
Another who evaded capture had a conviction for sodomizing a drugged victim in 2012, as well as a DUI from this year -- that Mexican citizen had also been previously deported in 2013.
Another illegal immigrant from Mexico, previously deported in 2014 for a conviction for armed robbery, also evaded capture.
Late Tuesday, the Trump DOJ sued California over its new "sanctuary state" policies. "The provisions of state law at issue have the purpose and effect of making it more difficult for federal immigration officers to carry out their responsibilities in California," Justice Department lawyers explain in the suit. The new laws, the DOJ maintains, obstruct authorities' abilities to uphold federal immigration law and thus are illegal. (Read more here.)
California's radical Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has responded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' criticism of his state's shielding of criminal illegal immigrants indignantly. "At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!" he wrote.