A bombshell report showed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement used the Oakland Airport to deport 27,000 undocumented immigrants between 2010 and last October despite Oakland’s status as a sanctuary city.
The investigation reported by the East Bay Times on Sunday said ICE used the airport to charter roughly 1,000 flights out of Oakland over eight years, starting in 2010. Another 16,000 were sent to other locations, the report added. ICE discontinued use of the Oakland Airport in October 2018.
Mayor Libby Schaaf is calling for an inquiry into whether the flights violated the Oakland’s sanctuary city policy, according to media reports.
Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said Monday that she is gathering information from the Port of Oakland on the matter. In July 2017, The city council approved a resolution introduced by Kaplan that prohibited any collaboration between Oakland and ICE.
The flights occurred under the leadership of Schaaf, who became mayor in 2014, and Jean Quan, who served as mayor from 2010-2014.
Despite Schaaf’s call for an investigation, it may be difficult for her to build a firewall between what is poised to be a major controversy in the city’s politics. That’s because the Oakland Airport is operated by the Port of Oakland. Consequently, Port of Oakland’s Board of Commissioners are appointed by the mayor of Oakland.