The first, which city supervisors passed last week, forbids city police from turning over illegal-alien youths to federal immigration authorities for deportation if the illegals have been arrested for a felony. The illegals must be convicted of a felony before city officials can get rid of them. Supervisor David Campos, who landed here illegally as a 14-year-old, sponsored the bill, which alters a policy created by Newsom of turning over youthful offenders. Newsom crafted that policy in 2008 after the San Franciso Chronicle revealed that city's infamous sanctuary policy had gone haywire.
Sanctuary Gone Haywire
The paper disclosed that city officials had been shielding 185 illegal "youths" from deportation by federal authorities because when federal authorities deport someone, they are not allowed to reenter the United States. Some of the "juvenile offenders" weren't juveniles to begin with (they merely claim to be juveniles to escape justice), but in any event the city was either paying to fly them back home or spending $7,000 a month to put them in group homes from which they subsequently escaped. Federal authorities actually collared a probation officer while he was escorting two young criminals back to Honduras, bypassing federal laws that require local authoities to give them custody. The revelations led to an investigation of whether city officials broke federal law.
After that, as Fox News reported, pressure mounted on the city because an illegal Salvadoran, with a lengthy record of felonies, gunned down 48-year-old Anthony Bologna and his two sons. The city did not turn the illegal gang banger over to federal authorities for deportation. Since Newsom's policy was enacted, Fox News reports, the city has given up than 100 illegals to federal agents.
Newsom isn't happy about the supervisors' move: "The sanctuary city was never designed to be in any way, shape or form a framework where people can commit crimes and be shielded against those crimes," he said. "I mean that's perverse, it's absurd." Newsom noted that the sanctuary policy was intended to enable illegals to report crimes without fear of deporation, not permit them to commit crimes.
For his part part, Campos says the city owes "due process" to the young criminals. Many "innocent" kids, he claims, were deported. "I think it's a proud day for San Francisco," he said. The vote "sends the message that we in San Francisco still believe in the Constitution and the basic principle of due process, that in this country you're innocent until proven guilty."
Newsom promises to veto the bill. Campos says the Supervisors will overturn it.
"Sanctuary On Wheels"
Newsom and Campos agree, however, on another new law, which the Chronicle calls "sancutary on wheels." The new policy will stop the cops from impounding cars if the driver is found behind the wheel without a license. The rationale for the policy is this: It adversely affects Hispanics because many of them are illegal and don't have licenses. Thus, the policy is "unfair" and "discriminatory."
Only after a second infraction for driving without a license within six months will a car be impounded.
Recently installed Police Chief George Gascón says that San Francisco is "trying to be sensitive to all of the communities we serve."
"We recognize that this is a problem within the Hispanic community, where people working here can't get a driver's license because of their immigration status," he said.