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Oakland mayor fires back at Trump: ‘It’s my duty to protect my residents’

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The mayor of Oakland, Calif., on Friday defended her intervention in immigration-related arrests that President Trump has called an obstruction of justice. 

In a weekend op-ed for The Washington Post, Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) claimed she was upholding her “duty” to her residents by warning them of an incoming federal immigration raid in February. 

“As mayor, it’s my duty to protect my residents — especially when our most vulnerable are unjustly attacked. As a leader, it’s my duty to call out this administration’s anti-immigrant fearmongering for what it is: a racist lie,” Schaaf wrote, also denying the “obstruction of justice” allegation. 

“Mr. President, I am not obstructing justice. I am seeking it,” she wrote, writing that the immigrants in her community “deserve justice too.”


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which planned to target around 1,000 people living illegally in the Bay Area city earlier this year, said Schaaf’s warning tweet prevented the arrests of nearly 800. 

“I wanted to make sure that people were prepared, not panicked, and that they understood their legal rights,” she said. She said she did not share information that would put law enforcement at risk.

Trump has targeted Schaaf for criticism multiple times since then, including as recently as this week when the president told Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a meeting that he should consider prosecuting the mayor. 

In his March announcement of a lawsuit against California for its “sanctuary state” policies, Sessions also singled out Schaaf, asking why the mayor would “needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda.”

“It was not my intention to get caught up in a national debate, but I do believe that I am speaking for the residents of my city,” Schaaf responded at the time. “The agenda of this administration is petty political vindictiveness.”

Tags California Donald Trump Illegal immigration to the United States Jeff Sessions Jeff Sessions Libby Schaaf
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