OAKLAND — Mayor Libby Schaaf was among more than 150 elected leaders who signed an open letter on Tuesday calling for the abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The letter offers support to Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, who introduced an “Abolish ICE” bill.
“We were heartened to hear last week’s announcement that Congressmember Mark Pocan plans to introduce legislation that goes farther, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” the letter reads. “We applaud this development, and look forward to working with members of Congress to bring an end to the fear and suffering that rampant immigration enforcement causes in our communities by defunding and disbanding ICE.”
Other local signers included Richmond Councilwoman Ada Recinos, Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, BART Director Bevan Dufty, Alejandro Soto-Vigil of Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization Board and Noelia Corzo, a San Mateo-Foster City school board member.
In it, the elected leaders expressed outrage over the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant families crossing the border and criticized ICE as a “lawless” federal agency using “brutal enforcement tactics.”
“As one of our newest federal agencies, ICE spends more time destroying communities than it does keeping communities safe while violating basic civil and human rights,” according to the letter. “The experiment that is ICE has failed, and must be ended as soon as possible.”
Schaaf became the punching bag for the Trump administration after she warned the public of an imminent Bay Area immigration raid in February. The mayor last month said she is preparing for the worst following calls from the White House to have her criminally investigated for obstructing justice. Schaaf stood by her decision to announce the ICE raid warning and said she is willing to go to jail.
“We have to move this country forward in a way that is reflective of our values,” Schaaf said on CNN last month. “We have to ask ourselves, ‘Is this America, an administration that is putting children in cages?’ I know the answer for myself and that is no.”
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