Despite the threat of federal prosecution hanging over her head, the Mayor of Oakland, California has defiantly struck back at U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who accused her of needlessly endangering “the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda.”
Sessions spoke in Sacramento yesterday to a law enforcement group to announce the Trump administration had filed a lawsuit against the state of California over three of its “sanctuary laws,” which he claims violate federal law.
Sessions singled out Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for her public announcement that there would be raids by the cruel and sadistic members of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in her city on a certain day.
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“How dare you vilify members of our community by trying to frighten the American public into thinking all undocumented residents are dangers criminals,” fired by Schaaf in a speech at the Oakland city hall, as reported by San Francisco Gate.
“How dare you distort the reality about declining violent crime in a diverse sanctuary city like Oakland, California, to advance your racist agenda,” added Schaff.
“It was not my intention to get caught up in a national debate,” continued Schaff, “but I do believe that I am speaking for the residents of my city.”
“The agenda of this administration,” charged Schaff, “is petty political vindictiveness.”
Sessions is considering charging Schaff for her warning to Oakland residents of the ICE raids in the Bay area.
As it was, ICE still managed to round up 232 people who were taken into custody.
If Trump’s Justice Department does press criminal charges, Schaaf said former U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, who was appointed by President Obama, has offered to represent her pro bono.
After Sessions spoke to the group, with hundreds of protesters outside, Californa Governor Jerry Brown denounced him.
“This is really unprecedented for the chief law enforcement officer of the United States to come out to California and act more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer,” said the governor.
“This is basically going to war against the state of California,” added Brown, “the engine of the American economy. It is not wise, it is not right and it will not stand.”
So the legal lines are drawn for an all-out fight between the Trump administration and the state of California, in what is likely a preview of other actions the feds will take against other states and cities who have passed sanctuary laws.
What Sessions and Trump have accomplished is to spread fear across the country not only among undocumented immigrants but also among legal immigrants and the people they work for and with, their friends and families and across communities.
California, as Brown suggested, is a major agricultural provider for the entire country, and there are reports crops are being left to rot in the fields because there are no immigrants to harvest them out of fear they will be arrested by ICE.
So food prices will rise, and the U.S. economy will be hurt, which will add to the fears of another recession as Trump launches a trade war and repeals the laws passed after the 2008 recession to protect the public from the bankers and Wall Street who allowed their greed to bring down the economy.
Mayor Schaaf is a brave person who speaks for a large number of Americans who believe the immigrants enrich our lives and diversity is good for our country; while Trump stands with the racists who fear anyone or anything that is different.