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ICE head blames Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for missing 800 arrests during recent immigration sweeps

March 1, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
ICE head blames Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for missing 800 arrests during recent immigration sweeps

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ICE blasts Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for warning of impending immigration sweeps

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — About 800 “criminals” avoided immigration arrests because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf alerted the public to the surprise operation, an extraordinarily high number of missed targets, according to a federal official.

Thomas Homan, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting director, told Fox News that the mayor’s warning on Twitter was “beyond the pale” and compared her to a gang lookout who tells people when a police car is arriving. Homan said the Justice Department is looking into whether Schaaf obstructed justice.

The mayor’s unusual public warning last weekend came hours before the agency launched an operation in Northern California that resulted in more than 150 arrests as of Tuesday, according to the agency.

The agency declined to elaborate on the 800 who allegedly got away or answer other questions about the operation that began Sunday. Danielle Bennett, an agency spokeswoman, said more information would be released later in the week.

John Torres, the agency’s director during the end of George W. Bush’s administration and beginning of Barack Obama’s, said agents generally capture about 40 percent of people they target in such sweeps.

Targets often elude authorities because agents don’t have search warrants and advocacy groups have waged public awareness campaigns urging people not to open their doors. Other times, agents have outdated addresses or targets are not home.

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