Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf responded to Republican threats of legal action for her sanctuary city policies, saying she will not let them intimidate her into no longer protecting undocumented immigrants.
“I’m not going to let the bullies in Washington, DC, deter me from doing what I know is right for my community. In Oakland, we’re very clear about what our values are. We value our immigrant communities. We value diversity. And we will not allow anyone to intimidate us. We will not apologize for those values,” Schaaf said Monday on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” in her first national interview.
The statement is in response to Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa introducing the “Mayor Libby Schaaf Act of 2018,” a bill that would “target state and local officials in Sanctuary Cities who act to obstruct Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to enforce federal immigration laws.”
“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 in a statement.
President Donald Trump has also gone after Schaaf, urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate her for obstruction of justice.
Schaaf has been garnering national attention for her stance on immigrants’ rights.
She came under scrutiny in February after she warned her community of imminent raids by ICE agents in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She issued a warning on Twitter and held a news conference the next day.
“I am sharing this information publicly not to panic our residents but to protect them,” she said. “My priority is for the well-being and safety of all residents – particularly our most vulnerable.”
Schaaf told CNN her actions and sanctuary cities are legal and that it is “not possible” legislation like King’s “could be legal.”
“That is part of the beauty of American democracy: a balance between state, local and federal power. And I can tell you I know a lot more about what makes my community safe than a Congress member from Iowa,” she said.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi and Saba Hamedy contributed to this report.