Stephen Ellison

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Faces Backlash Over Her ICE Warning to Public

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was facing big fallout Monday over her decision to warn the community of an immigration sweep over the weekend.

Immigrant advocates say at least 11 undocumented people were detained in Northern California over the past two days, and agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement are gearing up for more.

Meanwhile, Schaaf said she and her family are getting flooded with threats. Still, the mayor said she stands by her actions.

"Regardless of what happens, I felt it was my duty to share the information I had, particularly because I was sharing information that was legal and was not obstructing justice," Schaaf said.

On Saturday, Schaaf warned the community of possible ICE operations in the Bay Area. On Sunday, the federal agency detained at least 11 people across Northern California, including in the Bay Area cities of Pinole, El Sobrante and Napa.

After her warning, Schaaf received backlash on social media, including some accusing her of obstruction of justice and treason.

Blanca Vasquez, with the Immigrant Liberation Movement, said the mayor’s warning gave rapid response teams a heads up. They’re now working with impacted families.

"At the end of the day, it’s families and communities that are being impacted, and that creates more trauma and a lack of trust more than anything," Vazquez said. "(Schaaf's warning) definitely helps us do what we have to to prepare."

Schaaf said the decision to go public with the information was not easy, but she stood by it.

"Every day, I have to make difficult decisions as mayor of Oakland," she said. "This is a decision I made; I recognize it’s controversial, but I believe it’s the right thing to do."

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