Siding with lawbreakers instead of those who uphold immigration law could cost local officials five years in prison, according to a new law proposed by a Republican congressman from Iowa.
Rep. Steve King has named his bill the Mayor Libby Schaaf Act, after the Oakland mayor who in February tipped off illegal immigrants to an impending immigration enforcement sweep.
Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan denounced Schaaf’s actions at the time.
“What she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘police’ when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood, except she did it to a whole community. This is beyond the pale,” he said, according to Fox News.
Homan said 800 illegal immigrants eluded ICE because of Schaaf’s actions.
King said his law will send a message to politicians who engage in that type of behavior.
“I want lawless, Sanctuary City politicians to hear this message clearly: if you obstruct ICE, you are going to end up in the cooler,” King said, according to the Washington Times.
“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. 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,” King said in a statement that accompanied the bill’s introduction.
King said the bill was necessary because Schaaf’s actions were not prohibited by any law.
“Although many have expressed outrage over the actions of lawless Sanctuary City politicians like Mayor Libby Schaaf, there is some debate in the legal community as to whether the existing federal code effectively criminalizes the obstructionist behavior in which these individuals willfully and selfishly engage. Passage of (the) ‘Mayor Libby Schaaf Act of 2018’ will remove all doubt as to the criminality of the underlying conduct in these cases,” his statement said
President Donald Trump suggested last week that Schaaf should face prosecution for her actions.
“You talk about obstruction of justice — I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California,” Trump said to Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an immigration roundtable, according to The Washington Post.
“She advises thousand people … ‘Get out of here, the law enforcement’s coming.’ And you worked on that long and hard and you got there and there were very few people there,” Trump said.
“Perhaps the Department of Justice can look into that, with respect to the mayor, because it’s a big deal out there, and a lot of people are very angry about what happened,” he said.
Schaaf has shown no remorse for her actions.
“I am not obstructing justice. I am seeking it,” she said after Trump’s comments last week, according to CNN.