Feinstein, Harris call for probe of ICE after employee resigns

Feinstein, Harris call for probe of ICE after employee resigns
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California Democratic Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinYoung activists press for change in 2020 election The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back Democrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks MORE and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE are calling for a probe into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after a spokesman resigned over what he called false statements from the Trump administration about federal raids in California.

Feinstein and Harris wrote a letter Thursday to the Department of Homeland Security's acting Inspector General, John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, urging an investigation into the resignation of James Schwab, the San Francisco spokesman for ICE until last week.

Schwab resigned last week, telling the San Fransisco Chronicle he was frustrated by official statements blaming Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) for tipping off hundreds of immigrants in the country illegally about upcoming raids.


"We have serious concerns that Trump administration officials are misrepresenting the facts and statistics surrounding this enforcement action for political purposes," the two California senators wrote Thursday.

"ICE has since reversed its previous statements, saying it 'can't put a number on how many targets avoided arrest' due to Mayor Schaaf's alert," they wrote.

“Public policies and law enforcement operations must be informed by facts,” the letter continues, “not the fabricated overstatements or distortions of political officials.”

Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan derided the mayor's efforts as "irresponsible" at the time, and Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' Time magazine: Trump threatened reporter with prison time MORE claimed earlier this month that Homan told him that as many as 800 people avoided the sting as a result of her comments.

“ICE failed to make 800 arrests that they would have made if the mayor had not acted as she did. Those are 800 wanted aliens that are now at large in that community," Sessions said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE referenced the number the next day, which he said was "close to 1,000."

During the four-day operation, ICE made 232 arrests. Schwab reportedly believed the number of immigrants who avoided the sting to be much lower than 800, and was uncomfortable with orders to "deflect" questions about the figure from the media.

“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” Schwab told the Chronicle. “I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that. Then I took some time and I quit."