OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf shocked the nation when she issued a tweet and press release on February 24 warning about impending ICE raids.
Schaaf refuses to say how she learned about the ICE raids, only saying it was not from official sources.
“I felt that it was my duty to share the information,” Schaaf said.
In emails we obtained through a public records request, we didn’t find out who her sources were, but we do know who she was talking to before she made her big announcement.
Emails reveal that hours before the announcement, a group called Centro Legal de la Raza sent the mayor information on what employers should do in case of an ICE raid.
Centro Legal is a non-profit that provides legal services to undocumented immigrants.
The mayor was also talking to other people.
Her office tells KPIX 5 that she also spoke with Father Stephan at St. Jarlath Catholic Church and Emma Paulino at Oakland Community Organizations.
So far, none of them have responded to our requests to comment on their conversations with the mayor.
Hours before the public was warned about ICE raids, some Oakland businesses got a head start, thanks to the mayor.
According to emails, the Oakland Indie Alliance, a group of independent businesses, got a message saying “Important Alert! Credible information ICE Raids in Oakland Sunday 2/25 and Monday 2/26” and “This information comes directly from the Mayor.”
It was three hours later that the mayor sent out a press release that was less specific stating that the raids would be “in the Bay Area, including Oakland” and “starting within the next 24 hours” with no specific end date.
The mayor’s office says it made sense to talk to community leaders before the announcement, and if that meant some people had more time to prepare, it was not intentional.