ICE Veteran Rips Oakland Mayor’s Warning to Illegal Immigrants

But former San Francisco police commissioner says law enforcement agencies can't risk damaging relationships with community

A former immigration law enforcement supervisor Monday ripped Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, who issued an urgent warning to illegal immigrants over the weekend that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were planning a raid.

Schaff (pictured above left) has staked out the most extreme territory in the heated national debate over the “sanctuary city” movement.

Claude Arnold, former special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations office in Los Angeles, said during “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News that ICE does not go after run-of-the-mill illegal immigrants.

“They’re going after criminals. Almost all these targets — you can never say all, because there are exceptions to the rule — but almost all these targets are people with criminal convictions or some sort of criminal history,” Arnold told host Laura Ingraham.

“So we’re talking rapists, child molesters, drug dealers, gangbangers. I mean, ICE doesn’t have the resources to go after the street vendor,” Arnold said.

But former San Francisco Police Commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese said on the program that Schaff has no confidence that only criminals would be targeted.

“I don’t think there’s a whole lot of trust from the mayor all the way up to the president, between the two rather, that you’re specifically targeting hard-line criminals,” he said. “You read some of the headlines, and that’s not really what we’re seeing.”

Veronese said the San Francisco Bay area “is diverse” and that the most important advantage local police have is the trust and cooperation of the communities they serve.

Related: Texas Raids Net 145 Suspected Illegal Immigrants, Including Convicted Child Molester

“We cannot be scaring the community into hiding because, frankly, the evidence comes from them,” he said. “That’s how we solve crimes. It’s not our job to do federal immigration law. And that’s the bottom line.”

Arnold, who now works for a crisis management firm, responded that Schaff’s actions put people’s lives in danger. He said San Francisco has not turned a criminal over to ICE since 2010.

“All the city of Oakland is doing is endangering their own community, and I daresay, their diverse part of their community, because that’s where these people reside,” he said.

PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

(photo credit, homepage image: Libby Schaaf…, CC BY 2.0, by Jim Ratliff; photo credit, article image: Council Member Libby Schaaf, CC BY 2.0, by Jim Ratliff)

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PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected].