DCCC supports sanctuary & due process for all

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The Democratic County Central Committee voted last night by an overwhelming majority (20 ayes, 5 abstains, I no) to support Debra Walker’s strong resolution, recommitting “support of the Constitution and our city’s Sanctuary Ordinance for all,” and rejecting Scott Wiener’s watered-down version (19 noes, 3 abstained, 5 ayes).

Walker, who plans to run for District 6 supervisor, when incumbent Chris Daly is termed out next year, says DCCC’s vote made her, “ feel good about the party.”

“It’s been way too long that this has been happening and we have done nothing substantive, on the part of the party,” said Walker, noting that a companion resolution asking President Barack Obama to stop the ICE raids will be introduced next month.

Last night’s vote came after several dozen immigrant residents attended the DCCC hearing and testified about the impact of San Francisco's new policies toward immigrants.

As Angela Chan, staff attorney for the Asian Law Caucus told the Guardian, “One teenage girl bravely stood before the DCCC and said that as a result of the change in climate in San Francisco toward immigrants, she lived in fear each day that she would come home to find that her parents had been taken away by ICE. Another immigrant resident said that if the DCCC takes a stand to support immigrants, he would raise his children to become proud Democrats. Another immigrant resident, who was a mother and a child care provider for many families in SF, said it is difficult to know that the image of criminality is being projected onto her and her community, when most members of the community are hardworking, law-abiding, and family-oriented people.”

Chan says she appreciated the supportive comments she heard from Sups. David Campos, Daly, Robert Haaland, Michael Bornstein, and resolution co-sponsors Walker and Peskin.

“They demonstrated a strong commitment to upholding immigrant rights and a deep understanding of the contributions of immigrant residents to San Francisco,” Chan said. “I hope Mayor Newsom will take the cue from his own party (and his own residents), and swiftly move to rescind his undocumented youth policy and work with the immigrant community to develop a more thought-out and balanced policy that respects the due process rights of youth and the goals to the juvenile justice system.”

That vote confirms that Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to do an about face last summer on San Francisco’s long standing sanctuary city ordinance is coming back to haunt him, as the gubernatorial race heats up.

Asked if the policy direction that Newsom ordered in 2008 guarantees due process for all, Newsom’s communications director Nathan Ballard did a classic obfuscation, telling the Guardian, “Yes. It was thoroughly vetted by the city attorney.”

But according to the City Attorney’s office, the original ordinance never did assure due process, “ if an individual was arrested for felony crimes.”

As for the revised policy direction, it directs police officers to report any juvenile “suspected of being present in the United States in violation of immigration laws,” and “booked” for commission of a felony” to federal immigration authorities,

The language, which is contained in the juvenile probation department’s policies and procedures section, directs officers to take into consideration, amongst other things, prior criminal history and “presence of undocumented persons in the same area where arrested or involved in illegal activity.”

To Walker’s mind, such direction amounts to a, “slippery slope.”

“It puts a lot of discretion in the hands of the police on the streets, and can end up with juveniles being referred to ICE and taken back to their country of origin, without any representation,” Walker said.

Comments

Another fantastic article from Sarah Phelan and SFBG. It's no wonder that the SF Chronicle is being shut down. They do not report news with thought, insight, and accuracy like SFBG. Ms. Phelan has her pulse on the Bay Area political scene and is one of the few reporters to actually report on the real changes to SF's policies towards immigrants. Good for her for conducting real investigative journalism! And kudos to DCCC for taking a stand against the Mayor's anti-immigrant policies.

Posted by Cindy Fallon on Mar. 26, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

Looking at this from a far; a body with little direct power, that has been proven by the last Local election not to represent the values of SF. Has voted to support a resolution that has no teeth.
So in summary this is a report on nothing.

Posted by Chris P on Mar. 26, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

Not everything is about the 2010 election.

We, as immigrants, needed to see the Democratic Party stand up against racism and anti-immigrant sentiment perpetuated by 8 years of Bush ideology. And they did-albeit against current zenophobic public opinion in SF.

I just had a 13 year old kid who his p.o. is seeking to refer to ICE based on grabbing a girl's buttocks. Not appropriate but a deportable offense? He has no history of anything other than being a 3.1 GPA student. Another kid was deported for having a bb gun and an additional child was being chased in the Excelsior and he was referred to ICE along with his perpetrator.

I have families that testified at the DCCC who have seen homicides but don't want to come forward and speak for fear of the police. One of our young men, who goes to one of our top schools and is an A/B student spoke of how he freezes around police. One of our girls, was so shaken after speaking she cried all night because she lives in fear as an undocumented youth. Her best friend's father was roughed up and accused of drug dealing on Turk-he's a pizza delivery man. She's afraid they will do the same to her father and take him away.

We have a whole community living in fear and worse, many of us have gotten death threats for standing up for immigrants. I grew up in the South, so I'm used to the KKK style antics, but I admire any politician or journalist who writes a balanced article on immigrants in California. You put yourself in the line of the firing squad. So thank you to all of those who stood up.
Thank you Sarah.

Posted by bobbi on Mar. 27, 2009 @ 10:25 am

Chris P.,

This is about Walker's relentless run for D-6 supe next year. As a matter of fact, she just marched under my window carrying an SEIU banner. She's been a machine insider a long time and needs the appearance of separation. Can you say 'Astro-Turf Progressive'?

And, I like Walker. Jim Meko is just a much better candidate.

h.

Posted by h. brown on Mar. 26, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

bobbi,

Didn't ICE take away Obama's aunt? I'm not standing up for them or the DEA but face it, it's Obama who can stop it and NO ONE ELSE. Newsom's a figurehead driven by the polls his handlers generate and this plays well in Orange County.

The SFPD is an autonomous entity that does not answer to their Chief, their Commission, the Mayor or the Board of Supes. They regularly announce that they are opposed to any kind of civilian oversight. The only way to end that is to elect a real Progressive for Mayor (maybe Daly can have another 'Progressive Convention' and guarantee us a candidate with a bigger draw than moi).

The President has proven toothless to rein in the DEA who continually violate State and City law with their ongoing series of armed robberies of pot clubs. They're no better than the crooked Mexican police who steal drugs. The White House should appoint Ed Rosenthal as Pot Czar and make the DEA get approval from him before they shit.

Gays in the military? Obama's treading lightly there because these guys have guns too.

I don't like the looks of this. It seems that everyone who opposes San Francisco values has a badge and a gun and a dirty look for the likes of me.

More bad news. It's not going to get better when Prez appoints a new U.S. Attorney for the 9th District. He'll be relying upon the judgment of Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and Louise Renne and none of them are immigrant friendly (he could appoint Matt Gonzalez and really shake em up). The Feinstein/Renne crowd gave us Kevin Ryan (a right-wing Republican) to be the Czar of SF law enforcement.

Good to hear your voice,

h.

Posted by h. brown on Mar. 28, 2009 @ 7:47 am
Bob

Don't want ICE to take your family away? Easy peasy solution. Don't jump the border. Immigrate here legally. Don't break the law. It's really *that easy.*
This "Sanctuary City" nonsense has got to end.

Posted by Bob on Mar. 28, 2009 @ 6:24 pm