Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Sued Over ICE Tip-Off Records
IRLI seeks mayor’s communications about thwarting immigration roundup
WASHINGTON—The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) today sued Oakland, California, Mayor Libby Schaaf and members of her senior staff, seeking communications records related to her statement alerting illegal aliens in her community about a pending immigration enforcement raid earlier this year. The suit was filed on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform in the Superior Court of California, Alameda County. Schaaf’s office has failed to produce these records pursuant to a California Public Records Act request.
The lawsuit seeks records of communications between Schaaf and other city government personnel, including Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick, on February 23 and 24 of this year. On the 24th, Schaaf issued a press release notifying the public that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area within 24 hours.
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan likened Schaaf’s actions to those of a “gang lookout” and said that more than 800 criminal aliens were able to escape the raid as a result of her warning. Despite the tip-off, ICE went ahead with its operation and made more than 150 arrests. In addition to violating immigration laws, half of those arrested also had prior criminal convictions.
“What Mayor Schaaf did leading up to the ICE operation was dangerous, irresponsible, and shockingly immoral,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Enabling violent criminals to roam free in her community – or anywhere else in America they may care to go – is a dereliction of her duty as a mayor and a citizen. Her office needs to release the records so her constituents can see what led to this unconscionable act.”
Among those arrested in the ICE operation was Armando Nunez-Salgado, 39, a citizen of Mexico and documented gang member, who had been removed by ICE on four prior occasions. Over the past 18 years, he had accumulated criminal convictions in California carrying prison sentences totaling more than 15 years. His criminal convictions include burglary, assault with a deadly weapon (statutorily enhanced because of his gang membership), and hit-and-run causing injury.
Don Rosenberg, founder of Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime, lost his son in 2010 when a Honduran national who had entered the country illegally (but later obtained temporary immigration status) ran him over with his vehicle in San Francisco.
“Politicians like Libby Schaaf may claim they are compassionate, but thwarting ICE operations puts innocent people’s lives in danger,” said Rosenberg. “The politicians in San Francisco made the same claim and my son is now dead.”
For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • firstname.lastname@example.org