State Watch

Oakland mayor fires back at Sessions: ‘How dare you distort the reality’ to advance ‘racist agenda’

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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) hit back at Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he sharply criticized her for warning residents about upcoming immigration raids.

Sessions singled out Schaaf in his remarks Wednesday in announcing a federal lawsuit against California over the state’s “sanctuary city” policies, asking: “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda.”

“How dare you vilify members of our community by trying to frighten the American public into thinking all undocumented residents are dangerous criminals,” Schaaf shot back later Wednesday while speaking at Oakland City Hall, according to  SF Gate.

“How dare you distort the reality about declining violent crime in a diverse sanctuary city like Oakland, California, to advance your racist 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,” she added. “The agenda of this administration is petty political vindictiveness.”

{mosads}The mayor said that if the Justice Department decides to press criminal charges against her, a former U.S. attorney who was appointed by former President Obama has offered to represent her pro bono, SF Gate added.

Schaaf has come under fire for warning Oakland residents of impending immigration raids in the Bay Area. Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Thomas Homan said that her action prevented the agency from locating 800 immigrants who were deemed threats to public safety. 

Schaaf has repeatedly defended her decision, saying again Wednesday that she intended “not to panic our residents but to protect them.”

“I did not intend to put the safety of law enforcement officers at risk,” she said. “I was very careful in not sharing any specific information about these ICE raids that might have endangered law enforcement.”

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