Elected leaders of the city that harbored an illegal alien-turned-killer last year are voting Tuesday on whether to pass an ordinance that would make San Francisco an even more hospitable sanctuary city for illegally present foreign nationals.
The Board of Supervisors is considering the measure, which would further tie the hands of local law enforcement, effectively preventing their ability to give an inmate’s personal information or release date to federal immigration officials, according to KQED radio. Supervisor John Avalos introduced the proposed pro-Sanctuary City change.
Last July, a criminal illegal alien confessed to killing young San Francisco resident Kate Steinle. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials had requested a detainer for Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, but were denied after he was transferred to a detention facility in San Francisco. The five-time deported, seven-time convicted felon was released in San Francisco shortly after the transfer and shortly before he shot and killed Steinle.
Avalos told radio listeners that the new ordinance was proposed in response to what he labeled “xenophobic” sentiment, promoted by individuals like presidential candidate Donald Trump and his border “wall.” Avalos is trying to limit the ability of ICE officials to receive information that would allow them to pick up illegal aliens newly released from incarceration.
Saira Hussain of the Asian Law Caucus, an attorney lawyer for El Salvadorian asylum seeker Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno, also made the case for sanctuary city policies. Figueroa was held by immigration officials for two months, according to Hussain. Hussain confirmed that Figueroa had been convicted of drunk driving in 2012, and had failed to appear for his immigration hearing in San Antonio. She blamed a mistaken address for Figueroa’s absence at the hearing. Hussain argued that circumstances surrounding Figueroa’s apprehension violated San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies.
San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy told radio listeners that she is opposed to parts of the ordinance. Hennessy was elected after the Steinle murder, replacing Ross Mirkarimi. She stated that, “when people get arrested now, because of secure communities, their fingerprints go directly to the federal government and the federal government knows who’s in our jails and they request the notification on certain people when they get those fingerprints.” Hennessy said that she doesn’t want any blanket policy that would not allow her to speak with officials, including ICE.
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