Report: ICE used Oakland Airport to deport thousands of immigration detainees

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A new report says immigration officers chartered flights out of the Oakland Airport to deport immigrants.

According to our media partner the Bay Area News Group, about 27,000 people were deported through Oakland's airport over an eight year period.

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Justin Berton with the mayor's office says Mayor Libby Schaaf is looking into whether this was a violation of the city's sanctuary policy and how to properly address it.

An ICE spokesperson told the Bay Area News Group they have stopped the practice, saying they haven't chartered a flight out of Oakland since October of last year.
Reaction to the news was mixed at the airport this morning.

"I am a little surprised that they'd hit the airport, but they have to come and go from somewhere I guess," said Tom Stephens.

He doesn't think the mayor should launch an investigation.

"No I don't think it's her call," he said.

RELATED: Oakland mayor stands behind ICE warning despite critics

Joe Dimilia was upset to hear immigrants were being sent out of Oakland's airport.

"We're a country of immigrants so I don't get why we should be using our airport- our tax payer funded airport- to ship out immigrants. And all the racist policies that are happening right now are absolutely ridiculous," said Dimilia.

Michelle Lewis, an immigrant from Grenada, said she did not want to comment on whether the airport should be used by ICE agents.

"I'm an immigrant. I came here 37 years ago. I have opportunities a lot of my fellow countrymen don't. I came here legally but I understand the plight of those who didn't," Lewis said.

Oakland Airport has released the following statement: "Oakland International Airport is actively reviewing the situation. The privately chartered flights out of Oakland have stopped. We're looking into options in case the flights resume."

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