ICE Spokesman Quits Over Agency's "False" and "Misleading" Statements About Immigrants

San Diego Arrests

The San Francisco spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has reportedly resigned because of what he viewed as false statements from the Trump administration and ICE about recent immigration sweeps in Northern California.

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.

In a speech last week to the California Peace Officers' Association, Sessions said "ICE failed to make 800 arrests" because of Schaaf's actions, citing a briefing from Homan.

He also told The SF Chronicle he was "frustrated" with the statements the officials were making - including Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

But Schwab, who was the spokesman for ICE's San Francisco office until he resigned last week [UNCLEAR when he resigned; news came out yesterday ], said that the operation was never realistically expected to render 1,000 arrests.

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"I quit because I didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts". "I've never been in this situation in 16 nearly 17 years in government where someone asked me to deflect when we absolutely knew something was awry-when the data was not correct", Schwab said.

"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", he told CNN on Monday. "Then I took some time and I quit".

ICE officials and Sessions - and at one point President Donald Trump - criticized Schaaf for tipping off immigrants about the raid, which netted 232 suspected undocumented immigrants.

"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", acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said on the third day of the operation. Sessions, too, stated that ICE will have to pursue "800 wanted criminals" even harder, "all because of one mayor's irresponsible action".

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

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Schwab said he took issue with their characterization. At the time, Schaaf said she wanted to protect "law-abiding" immigrants from "the constant threat of arrest and deportation".

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

"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". "But to blame her for 800 risky people out there is just false". Schwab appears to be the first official casualty of that PR war.

The ICE agency confirmed Schwab's departure to the Chronicle, but did not provide a reason for his resignation citing confidential matters. He also worked at NASA for several years before joining ICE.

"Director Homan and the Attorney General said there were 800 people at large and free to roam because of the actions of the Oakland Mayor".

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When he told supervisors he was not comfortable perpetuating that narrative, Schwab said he was told by the Office of Public Affairs to repeat what was in the February 27 news release and defer questions to the Department of Justice.

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