Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King introduced a bill that would imprison government officials who warn about impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.
The bill, H.R. 5884, otherwise known as the “Mayor Libby Schaaf Act of 2018,” is in reference to the Democratic mayor of Oakland, Calif., who sent out a message in February saying she had heard from multiple sources of a possible crackdown on illegal immigrants in the area, one day before a massive sweep by ICE.
The bill, which was officially introduced Friday, would imprison sanctuary city officials for up to five years for obstructing ICE in their “efforts to enforce immigration laws.”
“Sanctuary politicians are placing the lives of citizens and law enforcement officers in jeopardy by giving illegal aliens warnings about impending ICE actions in local jurisdictions,” King said in a statement Monday. “This is obstruction of justice, and Americans do not have to put up with it. Under my bill, government officials who tip off illegal aliens about imminent federal immigration enforcement efforts could face up to five years in prison.”
Schaaf, who is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice for her actions, believes it was her “duty and moral obligation as Mayor to give those families fair warning when that threat appears imminent.”
ICE began arresting people one day after Schaaf’s warning message as part of a “targeted immigration enforcement operations,” according to Fox News. Around half of the illegal immigrants arrested had past criminal history, including assault and weapons charges as well as other violent crimes.
One of the illegal immigrants arrested in the sweep was a well-known gang member who has served over 15 years of prison time and has been deported by ICE four times. Armando Nuñez-Salgado, 38, from Mexico, was arrested in the February sweep.
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have continued to criticize Schaaf’s actions.
“I spoke to the attorney general about this. The majority of individuals who are being targeted by immigration and customs enforcement had a criminal record. So for the mayor of Oakland to warn them in advance of actions by ICE personnel actually put those law enforcement officers at risk; that’s just utterly unacceptable,” Pence said in a March interview.
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