ICE Spokesman Quits Over a Number

James Schwab said he 'didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2018 11:45 AM CDT
ICE Spokesman Quits Over a Number
The entrance to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office is guarded Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

In 2015, James Schwab became the San Francisco rep for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He quit the position last week, saying he "didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts." The move comes in the wake of a four-day February sweep, which President Trump, Jeff Sessions, and ICE Director Thomas Homan publicly declared was stymied by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who on Feb. 24 warned the surprise operation was imminent; it began the next day. Per Sessions, ICE missed out on 800 arrests. Schwab took issue with that number, which he says was inflated, telling the San Francisco Chronicle that figure assumes ICE was going to "capture 100% of the target list," which just isn't realistic.

"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." Some 232 people were arrested in the sweep, which had targeted north of 1,000 people; NPR cites a Homeland Security official who said sweeps like these typically reel in about one-third of those on the list. That's not to say that Schwab was in favor of the mayor's move. "Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible. I think she could have had other options," he told CNN Monday. But Schaaf had praise for 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." (More Immigration and Customs Enforcement stories.)

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