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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Monday, May 21, 2018
Sanctuary OFFICIALS Could Get 5 YEARS In PRISON Under ‘Libby Schaaf Act’
New bill named after Oakland mayor who tipped illegal immigrants to ICE sweep Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf listens to a question from a reporter during a media conference on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Stephen Dinan
Tipping illegal immigrants off to a looming immigration sweep could net sanctuary city leaders jail time, under a new bill announced Monday by Rep. Steve King.
The Iowa Republican dubbed the bill the Mayor Libby Schaaf Act, after the Oakland mayor who alerted California’s bay area to an impending sweep earlier this year, in a move that immigration officials said helped hundreds of people escape detection.
At the time the chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Ms. Schaaf was essentially acting as a “gang lookout” tipping off lawbreakers when police came through their neighborhood.
Mr. King’s new bill would include a penalty of up to five years in prison for any state or local official who obstructed enforcement of federal laws.
“I want lawless, Sanctuary City politicians to hear this message clearly: if you obstruct ICE, you are going to end up in the cooler,” Mr. King said in announcing his bill.
President Trump, a vehement opponent of sanctuary cities, has already called for Ms. Schaaf to be prosecuted.
And ICE chief Thomas D. Homan and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have officially petitioned the Justice Department to see if they can prosecute sanctuary city officials.
But Mr. King said there’s some debate about whether current laws make Ms. Schaaf’s behavior in tipping off illegal immigrants criminal.
He said his bill would “remove all doubt.”
After Mr. Trump renewed his call for her prosecution, Ms. Schaaf last week took to Twitter to defend her actions.
“In Oakland, we are not obstructing justice. We are seeking it,” she said.