Acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan.
Photo: AP

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump criticized Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for warning residents that immigration officials were planning raids in her city. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting ICE Director Thomas Homan earlier also claimed that as many as 800 “wanted aliens” in California avoided arrest because of the mayor’s announcement.

But after a spokesman for ICE resigned and said Homans and Sessions were misleading people about those figures, ICE is suddenly singing a different tune. It turns out the agency “can’t put a number” on the missed arrests, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 

“Even one criminal alien on the street can put public safety at risk and, as Director Homan stated, while we can’t put a number on how many targets avoided arrest due to the mayor’s warning, it clearly had an impact,” an ICE spokesperson told the Chronicle on Tuesday night.

Schaaf’s office declined to comment on the new ICE admission.

The Trump administration’s claims started to unravel on Monday after ICE spokesman James Schwab announced he was resigning.

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“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” Schwab, who worked for the agency since 2015, 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.”

Schwab said that based on his understanding, the number of missed arrests had to be far lower than 800.

“We were never going to pick up that many people,” Schwab told the Chronicle.