The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) will file a lawsuit Monday seeking to force Oakland, California, to produce documents related to its mayor Libby Schaaf’s decision to tip off illegal aliens to a major enforcement action in February, IRLI Executive Director Dale Wilcox revealed for the first time on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Sunday.
We’re “tired of these state and local jurisdictions who are thumbing their nose at our duly enacted immigration laws,” Wilcox told Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House.
In February, a San Francisco Bay-wide operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at criminal illegal aliens netted 232 apprehensions, including 115 with serious criminal records. But, according to ICE Director Thomas Homan, more than 800 others escaped after Libby Schaaf broke the secrecy of the action, explicitly in order to protect illegals from discovery.
In a Fox and Friends interview in the aftermath of the operation, an outraged Homan accused Schaaf of acting like “a gang lookout yelling ‘police.’” Attorney General Jeff Sessions was even more emphatic. “How dare you?” he asked during his announcement of his department’s lawsuits to strike down California’s so-called “sanctuary” policies. “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda?”
Schaaf defended her actions, claiming they did not endanger law enforcement and only told “people what the law is, what their rights are, what their resources are.”
IRLI requested copies of emails and other internal communications between Schaff and her top-level staff related to Schaaf’s public tip-off under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), but according to IRLI’s complaint, the assigned deadline passed without any documents being produced. IRLI is now suing to force Oakland to hand over the documents.
“I think [the documents are] going to expose [Schaaf and her staff] radical open-borders philosophy and how … [Schaaf] has been scheming with the chief of police,” Wilcox told House about what IRLI hopes their lawsuit will uncover. “She has mentioned in news reports about conversations she’s had with her chief of police over tipping off illegal aliens. She’s been quite brazen. She’s actually said she’s willing to go to jail to defend criminal illegal aliens.”
Schaaf’s tip-off provoked a strong reaction but rocketed her into the forefront of politics in California, where she is running for re-election. The gambit attracted the endorsement of rising Resistance star Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), for example.
This IRLI suit against Schaaf is taking place amid a backdrop of contempt for federal immigration laws across the Golden State, most clearly exhibited by the three sanctuary state laws the Justice Department is seeking to invalidate. Most galling of these for immigration hawks like Wilcox is AB 450, which prohibits private employers from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement. “This is the State of California telling employers – private employers, we’re not talking about public agencies – … ‘you’re not allowed to cooperate with ICE either,'” Wilcox told House.
In turn, Schaaf and California’s resistance to federal immigration laws fits into the larger, nationwide effort by liberal jurisdictions to protect illegal aliens at the expense or in disregard of American citizens and legal residents. Wilcox cited a recent study by IRLI’s sister group the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) that showed over half of Americans now live in some kind of sanctuary jurisdiction.
“Since President [Donald] Trump has taken office, it’s been like dominoes with these open-borders agitators. … The sanctuary policies have just multiplied,” Wilcox explained. “Of course we know what the politicians – what’s behind their push for open borders. It’s a desire for more votes eventually. If [illegal aliens] get to stay, if they get citizenship, then they’re going to vote. And we see, sadly, that one party has adopted a position on this issue and they’re counting on those votes in the future.”