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ICE Spokesman Resigns Because Trump Administration Spreads Falsehoods

ICE Spokesman Resigns Because Trump Administration Spreads Falsehoods

"But to blame her for 800 risky people out there is just false".

The row has unfolded amid the resignation of a San Francisco spokesman for ICE, who said he could no longer represent the agency after Trump administration officials repeatedly made false public statements about the Northern California raids.

James Schwab told The Chronicle on Monday that he was frustrated by repeated statements by officials, including U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that roughly 800 undocumented immigrants escaped arrest because of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's February 24 warning to the public about the four-day operation, issued the night before federal officers began staking out homes and knocking on doors.

Schwab told several media outlets that the statement was false, in part, because ICE raids never result in the arrest of 100 percent of the targets.

"To say that 100 percent are risky criminals on the street, or that those people weren't picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong", he told the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday (March 12).

"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" he said. "Then I took some time and I quit", Schwab said. "Unlike the politicians who attempt to undermine ICE's critical mission, our officers will continue to fulfill their sworn duty to protect public safety". Schaaf's actions "clearly had an impact" on the number of arrests, though the agency can't put a number on it. "Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible". ICE San Diego also arrested and detained almost 640 illegal aliens with a criminal history in that same time period. "Because these jurisdictions prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, they also force ICE officers to make more arrests out in the community, which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public". "While we disagree with Mr. Schwab on this issue, we appreciate his service and wish him well".

Schwab also told CNN that, typically, ICE never arrests 100 percent of people it initially targets in an operation, creating a misleading picture that the missed arrests in the recent Northern California operation were unusual.

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Donald Trump. Getty Images Trump himself called Schaaf a "disgrace" during speech in Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

"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", Schwab said.

Schwab is a longtime government spokesman, according to his LinkedIn profile.

CNN has reached out to ICE in Washington and the Department of Justice for comment.

"Of the 232 people arrested, ICE stated that 115, or just under half, had "prior felony convictions for serious and violent offenses" or past convictions for 'significant or multiple misdemeanors.' The other half had no criminal history".

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. I was absolutely thinking of them when I made the decision to share the [ICE enforcement] information.