On Saturday, Feb. 24, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf broke the law when she warned criminals on Twitter that U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement was going to start rounding up illegal aliens in the Bay Area “in the next 24 hours.”
So Mayor Schaaf should be arrested.
According to the feds, this operation aimed to arrest those here illegally that were “public safety threats,” and of the 232 arrested, crimes committed included murder, drug trafficking, aggravated assault, lewd acts with a minor, and battery, according to reports.
Armando Nunez-Sagado, a Mexican gang member, was one. He had convictions for burglary and assault with a deadly weapon — among other crimes — and had been deported four times.
But because of Mayor Schaaf’s heads up, it is estimated that 800 others were not captured, according to reports.
What communities they will end up in and what crimes they will go on to commit against American citizens is anybody’s guess.
According to U.S. Code Title 18, Chapter 73, Section 1505, if someone “influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceedings is being had before any department or agency of the United States,” they have committed obstruction of justice.
The case can certainly be made that Mayor Schaaf impeded the Immigration’s efforts. The mayor could also be charged with violating Title 8, Chapter 12 of the U.S. Code relating to “Bringing in and Harboring Certain Aliens.” Section 1324 makes it a crime to “shield from detection” anyone who “has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of the law.”
And violators should be prosecuted.
“What she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘police’ when a police cruiser comes by in the neighborhood,” acting director Tom Homan said. “This is beyond the pale.”
The extremes of both political parties have divided our country over immigration long enough. Most Americans agree we should not deport immigrants that work hard, pay their taxes, and have no criminal record.
But, if it’s an immigrant is a robber, thief, rapist or murderer, they should be sent packing.
Our national, state, and city leaders should listen to this common-sense approach. The extremism of Mayor Schaaf should be rejected, and if it means she must get arrested to send this message, so be it.
California has recently passed “sanctuary state” laws regarding immigration enforcement that will likely make its way to the Supreme Court because U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has filed a federal lawsuit to block them. One of these laws requires private employers to warn workers of immigration operations at their facilities — thus requiring state residents to follow Mayor Schaaf’s shameful example.
I have spent many semesters instructing students about federalism and our Constitution. One key provision is the Supremacy clause, which states that the Constitution and federal laws made pursuant to it, are the supreme law of the land. This includes immigration laws and their enforcement.
When Arizona attempted to be tougher on illegal immigration than the federal government, the Obama administration objected and filed a lawsuit. The Supreme Court ruled parts of the state’s legislation as unconstitutional in Arizona v. United States (2012) because it usurped the federal government’s authority relating to immigration laws and enforcement.
Now, California has flipped the script in the other direction, but I suspect the judicial decision will be the same and the supremacy of the federal government over immigration enforcement will stand.
Bob Capano has been an adjunct political science professor at the City University of New York who has worked for Republican and Democratic elected officials in Brooklyn.