Arrests of immigrants with no criminal record have tripled over the last six months in California, reaching their peak with the February immigration sweeps conducted by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) across the northern part of the state. But even more noncriminal immigrants would have been arrested if not for the efforts of Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, whose advance warning of the impending ICE raids saved an estimated 900 East Bay immigrants from incarceration.
That was four months ago, but President Trump is still pissed. At a Wednesday White House roundtable on immigration, Trump asked that Schaaf be prosecuted for obstruction of justice over tipping off her constituents that ICE raids were in the works.
Oakland’s mayor, Libby Schaaf, reportedly tipped off immigrant communities to an ICE sweep. Trump appeared to threaten that he would have his Justice Department investigate her for obstruction of justice. pic.twitter.com/qdxQUsYalk
— VICE News (@vicenews) May 16, 2018
“You talk about obstruction of justice, I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California, Jeff,” Trump said, gesturing toward lickspittle Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions sat motionless and took the verbal abuse as is his custom, while Trump continued. “She advised thousands of people, she said ‘Get out of here, the law enforcement is coming.’”
“To me, that’s obstruction of justice,” Trump said. Parenthetically, we will note that the Trump administration is under investigation for obstruction of justice in the Russia probe.
Spent the day presenting our vision to make college a reality for every child from #Oakland. Now onto DC to fight for federal $$$ for affordable housing and homeless services w bipartisan @mayorsandceos. #NotDistracted #NotObstructing #DoingMyJobhttps://t.co/A8DtM5rzWQ
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) May 16, 2018
Hours after Trump’s statement, Schaaf subtweeted back. In a post about the Oakland Promise program that helps get African American students into college, Schaaf added the hashtags #NotDistracted, #NotObstructing, and #DoingMyJob to her tweet.
California has the fifth largest economy in the world, thanks in large part to the contributions of immigrants everywhere from the avocado fields to chief executive suite at Google. Wednesday’s immigration meeting was the same session in which Trump said of Latino immigrants, “These aren’t people. These are animals.”
But somehow, the state with the most Latino immigrants is economically the head of the pack.