Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf claimed on Monday evening that Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) bill to punish public officials who warn illegal immigrants about potential Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids with potential jail time is illegal.
“It is not possible that legislation like that could be legal,” Schaaf claimed to CNN’s Erin Burnett. “Sanctuary-city policies are legal policies. The’ve been well-researched. They are within the confines of what local and state jurisdictions are allowed to do. That is part of the beauty of American democracy—a balance between local, state, and federal power.”
On Monday, King introduced the “Mayor Libby Schaaf Act,” and, under the legislation, public officials who warn illegal immigrants about pending ICE raids could face up to five years of jail time.
King, in a statement, said that “sanctuary politicians are placing the lives of citizens and law enforcement officers in jeopardy by giving illegal aliens warnings about impending ICE actions in local jurisdictions.”
“This is obstruction of justice, and Americans do not have to put up with it,” King continued. “I want lawless, Sanctuary City politicians to hear this message clearly: if you obstruct ICE, you are going to end up in the cooler.”
Schaaf told Burnett on Erin Burnett Outfront that she will not “let anyone intimidate” her and “will not apologize” for Oakland’s “proud” sanctuary status.
“And I can tell you that I know a lot more about what makes my community safe than a Congressmember from Iowa,” Schaaf said.
Schaaf came under fire in February for issuing an alert that tipped off illegal immigrants of pending ICE raids in the Northern California region. ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has said that 800 illegal immigrants, many of whom were criminals, may have avoided capture due to Schaaf’s alert.
Last week, President Donald Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting Schaaf for obstruction of justice during a White House roundtable event on California’s sanctuary cities.
“They all fled, or most of them fled. And that whole operation that took a long time to put together,” Trump said of Schaaf’s alert. “You talk about obstruction of justice. I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California, Jeff.”