Bay Area ICE spokesman resigns, refuses to deliver 'misleading facts'

ICE at work

She said this of Schwab: "We appreciate his service and wish him well".

Former ICE spokesman James Schwab pointed to statements made by Acting ICE Director Tom Homan and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who have stated that Schaaf's warning February 24 about an ICE raid in Northern California resulted in several hundred undocumented immigrants from eluding arrest, according to multiple media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, KTVU and CNN.

In actuality, Schwab said, the raid was more successful than ICE planned.

"Then I took some time, and I quit", Schwab said. "I asked them to change the information".

Schwab told the newspaper he tried to get ICE to correct the figures quoted by Sessions and others, but was instead asked to deflect reporters' questions.

A day later, President Trump said ICE had been prepared to arrest "close to 1,000 people" before Schaaf's warning.

Homan said in a statement that "864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor's irresponsible decision".

Enraged at her defiance, multiple top Trump administration officials publicly vilified Schaaf, accusing her of jeopardizing ICE officers' safety and preventing hundreds of arrests. Very unsafe. She really made law enforcement much more risky than it had to be. Schaaf's actions "clearly had an impact" on the number of arrests, though the agency can't put a number on it. "I think she could have had other options". "It's a false statement because we never pick up 100% of our targets".

Homan said the minority house leader's comments were "beyond the pale", asserting that 88 percent of the people arrested in the Northern California raids were convicted criminals.

ICE spokesperson Liz Johnson issued the following statement regarding Schwab's resignation.

Schwab also told CNN that, typically, ICE never arrests 100 percent of people it initially targets in an operation, creating a misleading picture that the missed arrests in the recent Northern California operation were unusual.

"I just couldn't bear the burden - continuing on as a representative of the agency and charged with upholding integrity, knowing that information was false", Schwab told CNN.

He added when he took the job in August 2015 during the Obama administration, after having worked as a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Reserve in Mountain View and as a spokesman for the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field for more than 15 years, he never could have imagined what he would be asked to do.

According to ICE, of the 232 people picked up in the raid, 115 had felonies or misdemeanors on their records.

Almost a week ago, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., slammed a four-day ICE raid as "unjust and cruel", but acting Director Thomas Homan said it led to the arrest and removal of many illegal immigrants with criminal convictions.

"Maria Mendoza-Sanchez and her husband are an example of a couple that, under the previous administration, were considered low priority for deportation", Schaaf said.

Schwab has now quit his job as a Homeland Security spokesman in San Francisco - but that shouldn't be taken to mean that he agrees with what Schaaf did.

Sessions, speaking in Sacramento on Wednesday, said he had learned from Homan that "ICE failed to make 800 arrests that they would have made if the mayor had not acted as she did".

ICE Director Thomas Homan said in a statement that "there's 800 that we are unable to locate because of that warning, so that community is a lot less safe than it would have been".

"I didn't feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against [the mayor's] actions was the way to go about it", Schwab told the Chronicle.

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