As Northern California braces for a massive impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement sweep, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf insisted on Wednesday that she was ready to be jailed in order to protect her city’s sanctuary status.
“It is no surprise that the bully in chief is continuing to try to intimidate our most vulnerable residents,” Schaaf told KPIX. “We’re very clear that our values are to protect all of our residents regardless of where we come from. We want to protect families, not tear them apart.”
At least 1,500 people are reportedly set to be targeted in the upcoming raids. They are widely believed to be retaliation against California’s recent decision to name itself a “sanctuary state.” Earlier this month, ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan warned that California “better hold on tight,” and criticized state officials for putting “politics ahead of public safety.”
Oakland has responded aggressively. On Tuesday night, the city council voted unanimously to bar local police from aiding in the immigration dragnet, going so far as to even stop law enforcement officers from offering traffic control assistance during the operation.
“It is not acceptable for the Oakland administration to collude with ICE, as this federal agency is targeting noncriminals, harassing people based on their national origin and undermining our justice system,” city councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told the San Francisco Chronicle.
In her interview with KPIX, Mayor Schaaf defended Oakland’s decision not to provide aid to ICE. She also insisted that she was not concerned about being held criminally liable for her city’s protections for undocumented immigrants, and when asked if she was was willing to face imprisonment for her stand, she answered unequivocally: “Yes.”