Restoring the sanctuary - Page 2

Newsom leaks legal document to counter strong support for pro-immigrant legislation

It also reportedly cautions that the Campos proposal could affect city officials who are being probed by a federal grand jury on whether the city's previous policy violated federal law.

Missing from the Chronicle's coverage was any mention that the Ramos case is stalled, with Ramos claiming that he drove the car but did not fire the fatal rounds in the Bolognas triple slaying, and that the shooter has gone underground and is believed to have fled the country.

Nor did the Chronicle note that a committee vetting potential nominees for U.S. Attorney for Northern California has forwarded three names for Sen. Barbara Boxer to consider — Melinda Haag, Matthew Jacobs, and Kathryn Ruemmler. Russoniello, who launched this grand jury investigation and has been openly hostile to San Francisco's sanctuary city policies, could soon be replaced.

And the Chronicle only dedicated one sentence to another legal memo — a 20-page brief prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Asian Law Center, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, Legal Services for Children, and the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Defense Committee. Their memo was prepared to support Campos' contention that Newsom's new policy exposes the city to lawsuits, undermines confidence in the police, subverts core progressive values, ignores differences between adults and minors, and violates the city charter.

"In its haste to respond to media stories, the Mayor's Office and JPD acted precipitously, usurping the role of the Juvenile Probation Commission under the City Charter and failed to abide by the measured approach embodied in the City of Refuge Ordinance," contends the civil rights memo.

The authors of this civil rights memo note that they repeatedly shared their concerns with the Mayor' Office, JPD, and the City Attorney's Office about the new policy — which, they observe, "was crafted behind closed doors and hastily adopted in 2008 without a public hearing."

"Yet the Mayor's Office and JPD have rejected our invitation to work collaboratively with community partners to ensure that the youth are not referred for deportation based on a mere accusation or an unfounded suspicion, and to protect the city from exposure to liability for erroneously referring a youth who is actually documented for deportation," the civil rights memo states.

The civil rights memo recommends that youths not be referred to ICE until five conditions are met: the youth has been charged with a felony; the youth's felony delinquency petition has been sustained; the youth has undergone immigration legal screening by an immigration attorney; JPD has comprehensive policies to minimize the risk that the youth will be erroneously referred to ICE because of language barriers; and the probation officer makes a recommendation to the court and the court agrees that ICE should be notified.

Reached shortly after the Mayor's Office leaked the City Attorney's confidential memo, Campos expressed shock at the manner in which it was released. "It's an elected official's obligation to protect the city, and elected officials also have a fiduciary duty," Campos said.

Confident that his legislation is legal, Campos observed that "legal challenges are a reality any time you try to do anything about immigration.

"But it's interesting that we are talking about fear of being sued, when San Francisco has a long and proud history of facing legal challenges when we believe that we are correct," he added, pointing to the city's willingness to fight for same-sex marriage, domestic partner benefits, and universal health care.

"The very same people who say that they are afraid of being sued here had no problem defending those issues," Campos said. "Perhaps it is not so popular to defend the right of an undocumented child as those other issues.