ICE spokesman quits after saying he ‘couldn’t bear the burden’ of lying for the Trump administration
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman James Schwab on Monday resigned from his role with the San Francisco division, citing the “burden” of spreading falsehoods from Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
As CNN reports, Schwab accused Sessions and Acting Director Tom Homan of deliberately spreading misleading information after ICE slammed Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s decision to warn the public about upcoming ICE raids.
“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” Homan said of Schaaf’s warning. ”Because these jurisdictions prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, they also force ICE officers to make more arrests out in the community, which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public.”
“864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor’s irresponsible decision,” Homan said.
“Director Homan and the Attorney General said there were 800 people at large and free to roam because of the actions of the Oakland Mayor,” Schwab told CNN. “Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible. I think she could have had other options. But to blame her for 800 dangerous people out there is just false.”
Schwab told SFGate, “I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts.”
“I asked them to change the information,” he said. “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 told CNN he’d “never” been in a situation “where someone asked me to deflect when we absolutely knew something was awry.”
“I just couldn’t bear the burden—continuing on as a representative of the agency and charged with upholding integrity, knowing that information was false,” Schwab said.
“It’s the job of a public affairs officer to offer transparency for the agency you work for.” he argued. “I felt like we weren’t doing that. I’ve never been in a situation when I’ve been asked to ignore the facts because it was more convenient. It was my first time being asked to do that.”