Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf has been engaged in a fierce battle with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in recent weeks. On Wednesday, she called the agency “racist” during an interview with CNN, just days after she warned hundreds of undocumented residents of Northern California that ICE would be conducting a sweep of the region.
Thomas Homan, ICE’s acting director, complained Wednesday on Fox News that her actions prevented the agency from locating some 800 immigrants this week, and referred to the alert as a “gang lookout yelling ‘police.’”
“I’ll say this to the mayor and every other politician that wants to vilify the men and women of ICE—we are not going away, we are going to keep enforcing the law,” Homan said, referring to the city as “a lot less safe than it would have been” if ICE had made more arrests during the operation, which has resulted in about 150 immigrants being arrested since Sunday.
The operation was reportedly aimed at sanctuary cities like San Francisco and Oakland, which have passed laws that minimize information-sharing between ICE and local law enforcement officials.
In response, Schaaf schooled Homan on the myth that immigrants are more dangerous than American citizens. “I hope we take this moment to recognize that we have to fight against the racist myth that the Trump administration is trying to perpetuate—that immigrants are dangerous criminals,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle. “There is nothing further from the truth. This is racist and it is false.”