March 6, 2018 by gregrabidoux2013
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.”
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?
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.
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 believes she is in the right.