Oakland Mayor Hits Back at Jeff Sessions: ‘Racist’

Libby Schaaf (Ben Margot / Associated Press)
Ben Margot / Associated Press

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf responded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s rebuke on Wednesday, telling reporters that Sessions and President Donald Trump were “racist” for conflating criminals with “immigrants.”

In a speech earlier to a gathering of the California Peace Officers Association, Sessions had outlined the U.S. Department of Justice’s case against the state’s “sanctuary” laws, which it filed late Tuesday.

He also delivered a rebuke to Schaaf for warning illegal aliens ahead of a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in February — a warning that ICE said caused 800 illegal aliens, including convicts, to escape: ”

“How dare you.  How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote your radical open borders agenda.”

In response, Schaaf delivered a statement at a press conference in Oakland (via CBS San Francisco):

My response to the Attorney General’s statements this morning is as follows:

How dare you vilify members of our community by trying to frighten the American public into thinking that all undocumented immigrants are dangerous criminals — hard-working, law-abiding Oakland’s like Eusebio and Maria Sanchez, whom you ripped away from their American-born children and the cancer patients at our public hospital who relied on Maria’s nursing skills every day?

How dare you distract the American people from a failed immigration system that tears apart families and forces the workers that out economy depends on to harvest our crops, delver our services, and build our cities to live in fear and work under oppressed conditions?

How dare you distort the reality about declining violent crime in a diverse sanctuary city like Oakland, California, to advance your racist agenda?

I am confident that the courts will resolve the dispute between the administration and the great State of California. I am ready to get back to work doing my job as the mayor of Oakland — addressing homelessness, building affordable housing, fixing the streets, creating safe neighborhoods, and ensuring that the children of my community, no matter where they came from, or how they got here, have every opportune for success.

Oakland’s agenda is a thriving community. Trump’s agenda is bigotry and vindictiveness.

Sessions told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview early Tuesday morning that the Department of Justice was investigating Schaaf for her actions in warning illegal aliens of the ICE raids, but said he could not comment on the case until he had received recommendations from the department’s lawyers.

Schaaf argued that most of the people targeted in the February raid had not been convicted of crimes other than illegal immigration.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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