An immigration reform activist believes that federal prosecutors should pursue criminal charges against the mayor of Oakland, California, for helping illegal aliens avoid arrest by federal immigration agents.
Thomas Homan, who currently serves as the acting director of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is blasting Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a Democrat, for alerting the public to a surprise ICE operation resulting in approximately 800 “criminal” illegal aliens avoiding immigration arrests.
Homan called the mayor's action "beyond the pale" and announced that the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) is looking into whether Schaaf obstructed justice.
Dan Cadman – a retired federal immigration investigator and agent who is now serves as a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) – agrees with Homan that the mayor's warning to illegals could have put the lives of officers and others at risk.
"It's extremely serious,” Cadman insisted. “And, yes, she did put the federal agents at risk because by notifying aliens – and if some of those aliens were serious criminals or were violent, then there is always the possibility that instead of fleeing, they could resolve to have a running gun battle. And it was irresponsible of her in the extreme to do what she did."
Cadman also maintains that it would be up to the U.S. Attorney's office to call Schaaf into a grand jury.
"She thinks she's done nothing wrong,” Cadman contended. “She'll tell them exactly what happened and how it happened, and she'll live with the consequences. If, on the other hand, she clams up and claims the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination, then that might be her constitutional right, but that would tell you a whole lot about whether she really thought what she was doing was either proper or legal."
Other possible outcomes ...
Cadman believes that Schaaf would ultimately end up taking the 5th, but notes that she could likely be prosecuted for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“The Immigration and Nationality Act provides criminal penalties for people who engage in activities that result in harboring or shielding illegal aliens from detection," the immigration expert asserted.
Cadman then noted the second possibility is that Schaaf has violated the statutes related to obstruction.
"It looks again like what she has done was deliberately obstruct the enforcement proceedings being undertaken by ICE in order to apprehend criminal aliens and bring them before an immigration judge and removal proceedings," he continued.
Cadman impressed that, finally, there is the possibility of charging Schaaf with conspiracy, which involves two or more persons in an overt act.
"The second person or persons would have been those who relayed the information to her, and the overt act was her going public and saying, ‘Beware of this enforcement action that's coming – run, hide, do whatever you can to avoid being taken into custody,’" the immigration enforcement activist shared.
Cadman insists that it will just take the will of federal authorities to do move forward with the charges.