Even as the immigration debate rages on in Congress, reports of drastic increases in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids nationwide have persisted.
President Donald Trump said early on he intended to cut funding to sanctuary cities — and while a few responded to that threat by abandoning their sanctuary status, others doubled down.
In the wake of warnings that more raids were coming, the sanctuary city of Oakland, California, took steps to batten down the hatches — the city council voted Tuesday night to refuse to cooperate with ICE entirely.
And the following morning, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made it clear she was not kidding.
Speaking to the local CBS affiliate, Schaaf directed her rage at Trump:
“It is no surprise that the bully in chief is continuing to try to intimidate our most vulnerable residents. 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.”
Schaaf also said she was willing to go to jail to support her city’s policies:
When asked if she were willing to go to jail to defend those policies, Schaaf answered emphatically “Yes!”
Schaaf said the reports of pending raids have escalated fears among the local immigrant community. Schaaf stressed that police won’t help ICE officials or agents if they conduct raids in her city.
“The level of fear and anxiety in this community is at unconscionable levels,” she said. “The important thing for people to know is that we have a 24/7 rapid response hotline which is partially funded by the city, the county and philanthropy. We are here to protect our residents.”
She said the rapid response operation has more than $1 million funding and will come to the legal aid of any Oakland resident detained in an ICE raid.
Her city council is in agreement — the vote to discontinue all cooperation with ICE was unanimous.