San Francisco Sheriff: Sanctuary City Policy ‘Makes Us Safer’

San Francisco City and County Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi argued that San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy “makes us safer” on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead.”

Mirkarimi was asked whether being a sanctuary city makes San Francisco safer, he answered, “It makes us safer. I firmly believe it makes it safer. We’re a world-renowned city with a large immigrant population. And of that population is a population that is also here undocumented. From a law enforcement perspective, we want to build trust with that population. And our sanctuary city and other attendant laws have allowed us to do that.”

Earlier Mirkarimi said, “San Francisco city and county changed its laws amending the ICE policy well over a year ago, just like 50 counties in the state of California, and well over 300 cities in the United States. I believe that ICE needs to catch up in working with local jurisdictions, municipalities who have limited their contact with ICE, because a detainer is not a legal instrument, affirmed by federal District Court, and the US Court of Appeals for the 3rd District, it suggests that we need a court order or a warrant, and ICE had been told this many, many times, and they have yet to produce that document.”

He added, “Well, I’m the sheriff, and I am adhering to the laws that I am supposed to follow. We have had direct meetings with the deputy director of Homeland Security and Director Johnson himself of Homeland Security earlier this year, with a number of the Bay Area sheriffs, and others, who have said that our municipal laws are changing. In absence of a comprehensive federal immigration policy, this is why it is a growing trend of municipalities in devising their own ICE relationship policies that require a real legal instrument. A detainer is a cavalier way of saying that this is a legal instrument, but in truth, it is not.”

Mirkarimi did state that if the federal government had stronger enforcement provisions to make local law enforcement hand people over to ICE, they would follow it, and “we honor all court orders, we honor all warrants, that’s the whole point. It’s because ICE has not upgraded its practices after all these years of seeing the imperfect deportation and transferring of people, this is why local governments, affirmed by the federal district court last year, and the US Court of Appeals in the 3rd District and the circuit saying that we need a legal instrument. A high majority of the counties in California believe in the same thing, as well as well over 300 cities in the United States. All ICE needs to do is to provide us that legal instrument.”

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