Should the Feds Arrest Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf?

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March 6, 2018 by gregrabidoux2013

Mayor schaaf thumbs up

Oakland Mayor Schaaf says, They know where to find me if they want to lock me up. Will they?

The Feds are calling her a lookout for gang members. She says she is just trying to protect the undocumented members of the greater Oakland community. At the crux is a political and legal battle between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and local Mayors like Libby who say they have a greater commitment to protect their own than to comply with the law.

Recently though, this battle took an even more openly adversarial turn when the Oakland Mayor tipped off her city’s illegal immigrants to an impending ICE raid in their area. ICE officials now claim that several hundred illegal immigrants were allowed to escape. Worse, they are providing the media with specific names of convicted felons, including armed robbers, rapists, pedophiles, domestic abusers, repeat DUI offenders and drug dealers who ICE says are now “in the wind” because of the Mayor’s heads-up to clear out of the area.

Schaaf remains defiant though arguing that her city is a “Sanctuary” community and that “no one is truly illegal.” She also says if the Feds don’t like it they can arrest her but adds that “they won’t because they know the hornets nest it will stir up.”

Mayor schaaf

She claims the Feds won’t dare, is it time they do?

So, we now have a situation where Mayors like Schaaf are openly breaking the law, defying officials to arrest them and allegedly helping convicts to avoid arrest and probable deportation.

Is it time to arrest Mayors like Schaaf who break the law?

Mayor schaaf rahm emanuel

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the most significant issue in his city isn’t homicides but protecting immigrants.

On the one hand, the US Constitution and US S. CT rulings have segregated immigration and deportation due process and orders at the federal level and made it clear that state and local enforcement officials cannot be “commandeered” into serving as agents of the federal government as they (the Feds) execute federal law.

But, this new wave of defiance and now arguably, acting as an accomplice to those deemed to be criminals is something the courts have not taken up or at least made clear. Yet.

They have signaled that what they may want is a test-case in this area. Now, courts are notorious for dodging highly controversial issues and effectively calling it a “political issue” and waiting until the fog of political skirmishing lifts to render an opinion. In some ways the US S. CT is still smarting from wading into school segregation and enforcement years ago while struggling to sanction clear rule-breakers.

It appears that President Trump and US Attorney General Jeff Sessions are losing patience with “rogue” Mayors like Schaaf and Rahm Emanuel of Chicago for their open defiance of federal law. What is not as clear though is if they are prepared to back up their own tough rhetoric with specific action.

Mayor schaaaf trump ICE

The President has talked tough but will he give the okay to act tough?

Until or if the ICE officers come for folks like Mayor Schaaf, she and her supporters say they won’t back down. While she acknowledges that it is “unfortunate” that some convicted felons may have escaped, she says it’s a price she’ll pay to not have families torn apart or “fear consume Oakland.”

The question that we should all be asking ourselves though is, “Has the price of ensuring sanctuary for all become too high a price to pay for the rest of us?”

Today, in the aftermath of Mayor Schaaf’s “tip,” two families woke up in the Bay Area. One, thankful that their father and spouse, an alleged suspect in a drug operation and assault and battery crime is apparently free and safe in an unknown location. Another family struggling with the fact that a Mexican immigrant who raped their mother, robbed their home and beat a child is also “in the wind” safe, at least for the moment, from ICE officials.

Mayor schaaf ICE

ICE officials are enraged that Mayors like Schaaf are tipping off criminals. But these Mayors say too bad.

Mayor Schaaf believes she is in the right.

Do you?

Daily Growl Tiger

 

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A brief shout out-UCONN women are now 100-0 in conference play, just held Cincinnati to 5 (you read correctly) five points in the first half of a game and play for their 9th straight conference title.

 

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28 thoughts on “Should the Feds Arrest Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf?

  1. Francis G says:

    Absolutely! Why should she be able to break the law and get away with it? Lock her up!!

  2. Jancie P says:

    Of course, no doubt, she should be locked up immediately!

  3. Taylor S says:

    How dare She? Why does she think she’s above the law? So, she can openly break the law with no punishment? Nice. Bet if regular folks did that we’d get the book thrown at us.

  4. Jonathan Klusmeyer says:

    To declare your city a sanctuary city is one thing. There is some argument to be made that localities cannot be forced to carry out federal mission sets. However, in this era of mutual aid and cooperation, will this hinder the cities in other ways. Take for example DHS and intelligence community services. If Oakland does not want to have a good working partnership with the federal government, will the federal government still provide Oakland with vulnerability assessment and information sharing through its information analysis center? Will Oakland lose support it needs to fight terrorism and criminal elements? Could this have such a negative impact on the safety of the city that citizens either change their opinion or move? One would think so. Additionally, the mayor of Oakland has gone beyond just refusing to cooperate. She has clearly moved into the obstruction of justice camp and posed the potential to put ICE agents’ lives at risk. She is treading into very dangerous territory with her most recent stunt. If any blood is spilled as a result of her action, she should be prosecuted as an accessory. It is crazy to think that she has become so political that she is willing to put lives on the line to save illegal immigrants from deportation. They got here illegally once, they can probably do it again with our your help mayor Schaaf.

  5. Mike H. says:

    The concept of sanctuary cities and their relationship with the federal government, and I understand the courts’ reticence to begin to take on the issue since based on the content of the blog post and the early comments, it is still quite a hot button issue.

    However, there is significant reason to believe that the federal government’s recent approach to the issue that was present in some small degree under the Obama administration and is facing a significant resurgence in popularity in the Department of Justice under the leadership of Attorney General Sessions, is not a proper approach to immigration policy. In a 2016 article for the Lewis and Clark Law Review, Elizabeth McCormick concludes that “an anti-sanctuary approach to immigration enforcement is a failed strategy that diverts resources from enforcement priorities like national security and public safety and diverts attention from seeking real solutions through comprehensive immigration reform.”(p.166) In addition, a recent ABA annual meeting found attorneys for the cities of New York and San Francisco arguing that sanctuary city policies helped them keep their towns safer by allowing undocumented immigrants to be able to come forward and work with local police on solving crimes (ABA News, August, 2017). You mention criminals going free under sanctuary city laws, yet if they were ignored, it appears as if the problem could be even worse when police are unable to solve any crime involving what would basically become an invisible population. However in the interest of including both sides of the debate, the senior counsel for the Reform Law institute argued that ultimately, the question was one that concerned the supremacy clause and it was one that those in charge of sanctuary cities would lose (ABA News, August, 2017).

    Based on my (admittedly not JD level) understanding of where case law stands on this after reviewing the McCormick article, it would appear that sanctuary cities are not necessarily going to lose this legal battle. According to the opinion in City of New York v. United States ,there is still some question about more general statutes requiring the protection of confidential information not limited to immigration status, which is exactly what New York did in place of the law, pass a new law that protected undocumented citizens while complying with the door the court’s ruling left open (McCormick, 2016, 188). In fact, current New York law does not prohibit sharing immigration status information, but instead prohibits employees, except in some circumstances, from asking about immigration status in the first place (McCormick, 2016, 188). Further, in Doe v. New York City, the court concluded that “although § 1373 prohibited state and local governments from placing restrictions on reporting immigration-related information to federal immigration authorities, it did not impose an affirmative duty on them to make such reports.”(McCormick, 2016, 192).

    With that said, I do think that currently, the mayor of Oakland is acting accordingly. There is case law, which includes suits brought people harmed in crimes committed by illegal immigrants who were released without informing Immigration and Customs enforcement, that suggests she is acting in accordance with current understanding and interpretation of current anti-sanctuary law. There is at least some form of argument to be made that these sanctuary laws, despite a high profile case or two, are in fact making cities safer by allowing undocumented individuals to be able to cooperate with local law enforcement. I will leave a concluding thought about the effectiveness of anti-sanctuary actions to then mayor of New York, Rudy Giulianni, in his arguments during New York v. United States:

    “So it seems to us that this provision is another ‘not-real’ attempt to control immigration in a useful way, but creates a sense of fear as well as disincentives because the reality is that all the names, if we are required to turn them in, will just be added to a very big pile. The overwhelming majority of people will face a type of Russian roulette where some will be deported and some will not be deported. So you create this catastrophic setting, but in no way are you affecting the number of people, at least the present population of illegal and undocumented immigrants, that are here.” (quoted in McCormick, 182)

    Sources consulted:
    McCormick, E. M. (2016). Federal anti-sanctuary law: a failed approach to immigration enforcement and a poor substitute for real reform. Lewis and Clark Law Review, 20, 165-233.

  6. Susan K says:

    Mike, you’ve written a book here but the facts don’t change, Schaaf is a criminal who breaks existing federal law and should be locked up. Sanctuary cities hide illegal aliens. Period.

  7. Canesta says:

    According to the articles I have read, Schaaf has broken federal law. However, she knows that she will probably not be arrested for what she has done.

  8. Melissa Tolbert says:

    When people in authority act out and compromise the law to “protect their own”, all they are really doing is keeping criminals like these gangsters on the street who could potentially harm the other citizens. This is impeding justice and obstructing the law. Regardless of who she is and what she is “trying to do”, she is breaking the law. What happened to people being punished for breaking the law, treason, and obstruction? Who is so scared to arrest these people that they are trembling and taking a knee in these situations? What about all of the other rights that she is blocking of her people to protect the few and dangerous? The law is the law and there needs to be enforcement of those laws.

  9. Darryl Nettles says:

    Absolutely not, I believe this Mayor and other mayors that are conducting themselves in a similar type manner, are wrong and they are not serving the citizens that they were elected to protect, if the truth be told. I don’t see how these public servants could claim to be protecting and serving their citizens, when the illegal immigrants are not citizens and some of them are just fleeing criminals who have committed crimes.
    What if these same criminals, harm one of the citizens of the mayor’s city….I just wonder how would that make the mayor feel – knowing that she assisted this person to escape ICE, so they could harm a citizen of her own city.
    It appears that the actions of Mayor Schaaf are criminal or somehow breaking the law. I initially thought, while reading this Blog, doesn’t this reek of “Obstruction of Justice”.

  10. Lisa Mathis says:

    Lisa Mathis
    Last I heard we were 1 nation and this is a federal law. This is not a law left to the state level. She is obstructing. I don’t get the problem, arrest her.

  11. Levi says:

    You make a good point in mentioning that if the mayor was arrested it would stir up a “hornet’s nest.” What the mayor is doing very well may be obstruction of justice. But, I believe strongly in state and local rights. It sets a dangerous precedence for the federal government to arrest political leaders that oppose them, especially when they have the support of their constituents.
    I disagree with the mayor’s comment about nobody being illegal. Of course every human has the right to exist, that is not the problem here. The problem is that these people did not use the proper channels for entering the country, which is illegal. The person is not “illegal,” but their action is.
    I am frustrated and disagree with the uncooperative actions of the mayor in regard to federal law. I can understand why some people may think the mayor needs to be arrested. But, I don’t think it would achieve the desired results. There needs to be immigration reform. Arresting someone who is on the peripheral of the problem is not the answer.

    • Diane M. B. says:

      I also believe arresting the mayor will not accomplish anything. I think the mayor’s intentions may have been positive but she handled this particular issue poorly.

  12. Rosa Brown says:

    I do believe that it is time for this Mayor to be arrested. She has clearly broken the law and there should be no further questions as to why she is still free. She adamantly admitted that he helped illegal immigrants to escape. Although she claims her reasons are to protect the community of illegal immigrants defending them, but she is protecting them sort of speak but at the same time putting the lives of everyone else in danger. ICE raids happen for a reason, I’m sure they are not raiding and deporting illegal aliens back to their country and even detaining them just because, but their aim is to protect the public. But the mayor tipped the immigrants off allowing hundred of them to escape. Amid the hundreds of illegal immigrants, there were drug smugglers, rapists, and even murderers. Does the mayor really want these people released into public, endangering the safety of hundreds of more citizens? As far as ethics is concerned, she is clearly in violation of the code of ethics. She is basing her decisions on personal reasons and she not only is breaking the law, but she is endangering the lives of the people.

  13. Heather Pence says:

    Politicians being allowed to break laws is a huge issue. However, if we look at this from a different angle as related to the city being a sanctuary city, I would argue that as long as the city receives federal funds, federal laws should be enforced. Take away the city funding and she might change her mind.

    • JCE says:

      My thoughts exactly. It seems we often hear this as a threat made to sanctuary cities, but it very rarely happens. Not sure if it’s just an effective bluff or a wake-up call. Also, the caveat to this story is that this is Oakland, not exactly your “typical” American city. That place is a mess, with some of the worst violent crime rates in the country. Illegal immigration is probably the least of their worries. Perhaps this is all merely a calculated distraction from this mayor’s miserable record on crime and homelessness issues. But if the US administration wants to make an example of a politician disregarding/breaking laws on immigration enforcement, I agree with many others here that prosecuting Ms. Schaaf is an excellent place to start.

  14. Brent Mayes says:

    I do feel these Mayors are out of line. There are very few situations were someone like a mayor should overrule a higher-ranking elected official. And, this is not one of them.

    She is endangering the lives of everyone involved by playing such a negative and rebellious role.

    Yes, I feel the mayors’ concerns to take care of their citizens, but in the case of the immigration issues, these are not legal citizens.

    I firmly believe one should uphold orders from higher ranking officials as long as ethical issues are in place. In this case, it seems as though the mayors have incorrectly identified this as an ethical dilemma.

  15. Diane M. B. says:

    Mayor Schaaf said when she considered whether to warn the community about the impending ICE raid, an immigrant by the name of Maria Mendoza-Sanchez was on her mind. The 46 year old woman worked at an Oakland hospital and was a mother of four. Maria and her husband were deported to Mexico after living in the United States for 20 years and did not have criminal records (Flynn, 2018). Schaff said it was her “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” (Flynn, 2018).
    While the Federal Government cannot actively force the states to assist the Feds in immigration policy enforcement, they certainly take issue to a mayor informing the town of an impending raid. Law enforcement officials were outraged and said the mayor placed their officers in jeopardy. Mayor Schaaf said she contacted her legal counsel before making the announcement and stated because she received the information from unofficial sources rather than formal government channels, she didn’t believe she had obstructed justice (Flynn, 2018).
    This is a difficult case as her motives for wanting to assist immigrants are sound, but it unfortunately results in harboring criminal immigrants as well. In order to call for the Mayor’s arrest she has to be in violation of the law. If her legal counsel is right and she was not officially notified by the federal government, she is not in violation. She could have simply been spreading a rumor. While I admire her civic activism, the mayor should take greater measures to ensure criminal immigrants are removed.

    Flynn, M. (2018). “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off immigrants about ICE raid and isn’t sorry she did”. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/02/28/oakland-mayor-libby-schaaf-tipped-off-immigrants-about-ice-raid-and-isnt-sorry-she-did/?utm_term=.82f82bc8a4c5

  16. James Barnes says:

    I honestly do not think city, county, or state officials should be arrested for refusing to turn over illegal immigrants, regardless of said immigrant’s crimes beyond illegal entry. Your first response may be to say now hold your horses there friend! They are clearly breaking the law. Half the states in the Union are currently breaking Federal drug laws by making Marijuana, a Schedule 1 drug, legal.
    When we pick and choose which laws to enforce based on popularity, not the law, there is a serious erosion of the entire judicial system. I think The Senate and House are going to have to pass new immigration and drug laws to solve this issue. Either crack down on these rogue municipalities/states or dissolve the criminal status of such activities. We have to pick an indisputable legal stance and stick to it for better or worse. Otherwise, I fear a great many things worse than criminal aliens and pot will become socially acceptable.

    • Diane M. B. says:

      That is a very interesting point to compare the state’s discretion in enforcing marijuana laws and immigration. The immigration laws do need to be reformed and clarified. I also agree with your comment that we need consistent drug laws as well. It is ridiculous for our police force and judicial system to actively prosecute individuals for having a substance that is legal in so many other states.

  17. Kara Lowther says:

    Yep, lock her up for obstruction.

  18. Kenya D. says:

    Very interesting read! Personally, I agree with her intentions whole heartily, but her method is not correct. First and foremost, having illegal citizens here is one of the many factors as to why our citizens are poorer than they appear. Having to pay taxes that will in turn provide services for someone who is not required to pay taxes because they are illegal is discouraging. Putting things into perspective, I am essentially providing luxuries to someone that myself or my family cannot receive. The next concern is Mayor Schaaf’s actions are unethical and blandly disrespect those laws agreed upon by our country. She may not agree but as a person in leadership it is not acceptable to publicly and deliberately disrespect the government she works for and is suppose to govern Americans. She has to put her personally feelings aside and allow her professional feelings to take precedent. Her intentions are pure but her methods need revisions.

  19. Randall H says:

    Hello, all!

    This is an intriguing post and, although I see the situation as black and white, I can see why others would have trouble.

    For me, I don’t know that she should be arrested. However, without a doubt, she should be forced to step down from her position. As the Mayor of her town, she has taken and oath to uphold the law; not break the law herself. If that means that she needs to be arrested, then so-be-it.

    However, I do understand her frustration. She feels as though a wrong is being done to her community and I applaud her for standing up for what she believes. As the mayor, however, she is also operating under false pretenses if she believes that the undocumented immigrants in her city are of equal importance as her documented citizens. I will not address how I feel about the current political climate on illegal immigration. However, I feel strongly that we, as a Nation, should have an American’s first stance to political situations and, for Schaaf, this has not been the case.

    Should she be arrested, I’m torn. Arguments can be made that could sway the discussion either way. Should she be removed from office? Absolutely. She has proven herself to be a Public Administrator who cannot follow the law and this cannot go unpunished. I equate this situation to a clerk of the court, as we have seen within the last several years, refuse to sign a marriage license based on their own qualms with same-sex marriage. These individuals were asked to resign or face jail time and this may be the right course of action to take in Schaaf’s case.

  20. Daniel Turknett says:

    I feel like Schaaf believes she is above the law. Calling the government’s bluff is a bold strategy, but one that is still working out. I think she is in the wrong, but that is mainly because I think every person who lives in this country should be legal. People get that confused with being racist, but it’s not. To me, I think she is in the wrong. I understand she wants to protect her local citizens, but in the grand scheme (United States of America) she is in the wrong.

  21. GMoss says:

    If Schaaf is breaking the law by tipping of illegal immigrants to ICE raids, then clearly she should be prosecuted for her crime. However, the fact that the government is not pursuing legal actions against her only proves actions on both sides are politically motivated. Enforcing the law should not be selective based on who is committing illegal acts or whether there are benefits or losses associated with the outcome. I think that is part of the problem in our society.

  22. Yazid Bawazir says:

    why do mayors always think they they are above the law?! she proved that she does not follow the rules and i think she should be removed from her office.

  23. Melany says:

    Yes, she absolutely should be locked up. Like Yazid stated above, she’s not above the law, and she should be treated as such.

  24. Ebony B says:

    She needs to be stopped and if locking her up is the only way that she will comply then it needs to be done. No one is above the law. What happens if the convicts that she let escape commit a crime? Will she still feel as if her actions were justifiable?

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