Home / Politics / ICE spokesperson quits rather than continue spreading lies for Trump officials

ICE spokesperson quits rather than continue spreading lies for Trump officials

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 11:  Hundreds of immigration activists, clergy members and others participate in a protest against President Donald Trump's immigration policies in front of the Federal Building on January 11, 2018 in New York City. As the Trump administration continues to focus their attention on deportations and the building of a new wall along the Mexican and American border, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests are up. From late January through August 2017, arrests by ICE were up more than 43 percent since the same period in 2016.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

James Schwab, San Francisco spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has resigned from his post, “saying he couldn’t continue to do his job” after Donald Trump, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, and acting ICE director Thomas Homan “made false public statements” regarding a recent raid targeting Northern California last month. Following Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warning her immigrant residents that a raid was imminent, Sessions and Homan alleged that 800 immigrants had evaded arrest due to her actions. Trump alleged “close to 1,000.” Schwab believed both were exaggerated and “wanted the agency to correct the number.” He was rebuffed:

“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” said Schwab, 38, who was hired in 2015 and resigned last week. “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.”

“I didn’t feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against (Schaaf’s) actions was the way to go about it,” he said. “We were never going to pick up that many people. To say that 100 percent are dangerous criminals on the street, or that those people weren’t picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong.”

“I just couldn’t bear the burden,” he later told CNN, “continuing on as a representative of the agency and charged with upholding integrity, knowing that information was false.“ Schwab “also said he is a registered Democrat, but has been a loyal federal servant, regardless of which party is in power.” Mayor Schaaf, who has been hounded by Trump officials and right-wing media for her action, applauded the former spokesman: “I commend Mr. Schwab for speaking the truth while under intense pressure to lie. Our democracy depends on public servants who act with integrity and hold transparency in the highest regard.” 

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