The mayor of “sanctuary city” Oakland, California, has said she’s willing to go to jail to protect illegal immigrants. According to the feds, she might end up doing just that.
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the Department of Justice is “review[ing]” the potentially illegal actions of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who made headlines this week after tipping off illegal immigrants to a potential raid by ICE, an act that could be considered attempting to “conceal, harbor, or shield” an illegal alien, a violation of 8 U.S. Code § 1324.
“I think it’s outrageous that a mayor would circumvent federal authorities and certainly put them in danger by making a move such as that,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday. Schaaf’s actions this week, said Sanders, were under “review.”
On Saturday, Schaaf issued a public statement directed toward illegal immigrants about a potential ICE raid, which she said she learned about from “multiple credible sources.” Here’s the statement she tweeted out:
Schaaf announced in a news conference Sunday that she informed other Bay Area city mayors about the potential ICE raids, SFGate reports.
In a statement Tuesday, ICE’s Acting Director Thomas D. Homan condemned Schaaf for undermining “federal laws that ICE is sworn to upheld.”
“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” Homan said in a statement Tuesday. “The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased [risks] 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.”
The LA Times notes that Homan also appeared on “Fox & Friends” to address Schaaf’s actions and revealed that authorities were looking into the issue.
Homan said that the four-day sweep resulted in 232 arrests, including 115 illegal immigrants with prior convictions for “serious or violent” crimes — including assault, weapons violations, and sex crimes against children — or those who have been convicted for “significant or multiple” misdemeanors. The acting director said a total of 864 criminal immigrants are still at large in the sanctuary cities in the area. “I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor’s irresponsible decision,” he said, the Times reports.
In her own statement Tuesday, Schaaf said she has no regrets about potentially tipping off criminal illegal immigrants. “I do not regret sharing this information,” she said. “It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws. We believe our community is safer when families stay together.”
In its report of her warning to illegal immigrants, Fox News noted that Schaaf “said in January that she’d be willing to go to jail to defend the city’s sanctuary city status, and has openly opposed the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.”‘
Below is the section of the U.S. code Schaaf may have violated (via Jazz Shaw):
8 U.S. Code § 1324 (a) (1) (A) (iii)
Any person who, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B).
8 U.S. Code § 1324 (a) (1) (B) (ii)
A person who violates subparagraph (A) shall, for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), (iv), or (v)(II), be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.