Oakland Mayor Schaaf: Trump Sanctuary Cities Proposal ‘Racist’—But Will ‘Welcome All’ Migrants

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty
TONY LEE

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who infamously tipped off illegal immigrants of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids last year, over the weekend blasted President Donald Trump’s proposal to send migrants to sanctuary cities as “illegal, immoral, undemocratic, and racist.” Yet, the Oakland mayor said her city is “proud to be a sanctuary city” and would still “welcome all” migrants.

When Trump claimed that Schaaf did not want migrants in her city, Schaaf quickly corrected Trump on Saturday evening, saying: “I’ve been consistent and clear: #Oakland welcomes all, no matter where you came from or how you got here.”

“The idea that this administration could even contemplate using human beings—women, children families—as instruments of political payback is outrageous it is not America,” Schaaf said on Friday evening to KTVU. “Clearly, it is illegal… It is not the first time that President Trump has tried something that is illegal, immoral, undemocratic, and racist.”

Trump on Friday targeted California for its “sanctuary cities” hypocrisy, saying leaders in the Golden State are always “saying they have open arms. Let’s see if they have open arms.”

“California certainly is always saying, ‘Oh, we want more people.’ And they want more people in their sanctuary cities. Well, we’ll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply,” Trump said. “California, the governor wants to have a lot of people coming in, refugees coming in. A lot of sanctuary cities… So we’ll give them to the sanctuary cities, maybe, to take care of, if that’s the way they want it.”

Schaaf said Trump’s proposal would be an “outrageous abuse of power and public resources” and expressed her “gratitude to the public servants—the two whistleblowers—that actually brought this issue to light,” adding that it is “important that good public servants are continuing to stand up for integrity in government.”

“Oakland is proud to be a sanctuary city,” she continued. “We have always been a city that values diversity, inclusion. These are Oakland values, so we will continue to welcome all people and celebrate how the richness of different cultures actually makes our city better and safer.”

Trump doubled down over the weekend and tweeted that the “USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities” and demanded that states like California take care of them “at the highest level.”

Though she has been ripping Trump’s proposal, Schaaf has still insisted that she would still “welcome” thousands of migrants to Oakland.

When NPR asked Schaaf over the weekend what she would do if “sometime, let’s say, in the middle of next week, a number of buses arrive in Oakland with 5,000 migrants,” she responded: “I always say, welcome to Oakland.”

“My job as a mayor is to welcome people. I don’t build walls. It’s our job to welcome everyone into our city, ensure their safety, ensure that their families can thrive,” Schaaf told NPR. “And that is my job no matter where those people came from or how they got there.”

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