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ICE Spokesman in San Francisco Resigns, Citing Falsehoods Spread by Trump Administration

14 March 2018

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. "How dare you?" he asked the mayor.

"They were all set, this was long in the planning and she said get out of here and she's telling that to criminals", Trump said. "I think it's my responsibility as a person in power and privilege to share the information I have access to, to make sure people know what their rights are".

The false information, according to the spokesman, James Schwab, is related to an ICE operation last month that targeted 1,000 undocumented immigrants in Northern California. Trump administration officials have since claimed that her warning led to "864 criminal aliens" remaining "at large in the community". But his statement that placing blame on Schaaf for "800 risky people out there is just false" does peel back the curtain on a small part of a government that's all too comfortable spreading misinformation. "Then I took some time and I quit", Schwab said.

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

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But if reporters asked him about Homan's and Sessions' comments, he said, his superiors at ICE told him to simply "deflect to previous statements" from those top officials.

"Those are 800 wanted aliens that are now at large in that community -most are wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue with more difficulty in more unsafe situations, all because of one mayor's irresponsible action".

"The people we arrested during this California operation - [who have committed] lascivious acts with a juvenile, assault with deadly weapons, murder - these people were terrorizing immigrant communities", Homan said to FOX Business' Stuart Varney on "Varney & Co".

"I didn't feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against (Schaaf's) actions was the way to go about it", Schwab said. "To say that 100 percent are unsafe criminals on the street, or that those people weren't picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong", Schwab said. His remarks amplified attacks by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting ICE Director Thomas D. Homan.

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ICE officials confirmed Schwab's resignation but did not respond to questions regarding the disputed figures.

Their claims were questioned by critics - and now by Schwab, a veteran public affairs officer who had worked at the Defense Department and NASA. "And to say they're a type of unsafe criminal is also misleading".

In this Sunday Feb. 25, 2018 photo, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf holds a press conference to address potential Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity in the area at Fruitvale Village in Oakland, Calif.

"I commend Mr. Schwab for speaking the truth while under intense pressure to lie", she said in a statement to The Post. I felt like we weren't doing that. "I'd never have someone say, 'Why do I have to call an interpreter?"

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ICE Spokesman in San Francisco Resigns, Citing Falsehoods Spread by Trump Administration