Newsom vetoes sanctuary amendment, Board mulls options


Text and photos by Sarah Phelan

All mothers of immigrant youth, like Estella (center) are asking, is for the City to give their kids a day in court before handing them over to the feds for possible deportation. Is that really too much to ask?

No one was surprised when Mayor Gavin Newsom vetoed the Board's newly passed sanctuary ordinance amendment today. That's because the mayor, in between leaking confidential memos, has been threatening to do that for months

But Newsom's move leaves the Board mulling its options, including legal action, since mayors don't seem to have the authority to refuse to enact legislation that's been approved by a veto-proof majority of supervisors.

Newsom's move also raises the question of the whereabouts of the 114 juveniles who have been picked up by federal immigration authorities since the mayor began requiring city probation officers to act like extensions of the federal government.

Under the policy that Newsom ordered without public input or review in June 2008, city officials are required to refer kids to US immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) based solely on allegations that they have committed a felony and on the probation officers' own suspicions that these kids are undocumented.

That seems like a huge burden to place on the probation officers' shoulders. And meanwhile, we are not aware of
anyone in the Mayor's Office giving any kind of public accounting of where these 114 youth,s who have been disappeared with the help of our tax payer dollars, are being held, or whether they actually have been deported.

Meanwhile, immigrant advocates report that they have had zero success getting Newsom to meet them in person, in the 16 months since the mayor ordered his policy shift, last summer.

Recently, faced with leaked memos and a damaging misinformation campaign , it's fallen to the parents of these disappeared children to explain the painful consequences of having their kids unjustly ripped from their families, and still the mayor refuses to meet with them.

Newsom claims that the sanctuary policy "was never meant to serve as a shield for people accused of committing serious crimes."

If that's true, then the policy needs the Campos amendment to make it a just and fair treatment of immigrant youth.

Under the Campos amendment, any immigrant juvenile found guilty of having committed a serious crime will be deported. But those found innocent will be spared the terrifying experience of finding themselves in federal hands, awaiting deportation, even though they never actually committed a felony crime.

Campos has repeatedly pointed out that federal law does not require city officials to act as federal agents.

But so far, Newsom's policy has done just that, and has already led to a 15-year old girl being whisked off to Miami, because she got in a fight with her sister, a 14-year old boy being taken into federal custody because he brought a BB gun to school, another youth being picked up by ICE for graffiti infractions, all because San Francisco probation officials picked up the phone and called ICE, before those kids had a chance to prove their innocence,

That's why eight supervisors, representing a city a third of whose inhabitants are foreign born, voted yesterday to make a minor amendment that will majorly improve Newsom's policy. And for that, the Board should be commended.


marc, what are you commenting on?

Posted by glen matlock on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

If you want to be responsible for putting a 14 year old kid who the SFPD picks up on a whim because they just feel like it onto an airplane to Mexico City where he knows nobody, is not fluent in the language, and letting him just "deal with it" once he arrives there, to think long and hard in penitence about how bad he was for being brought into the US by his parents and then making the mistake of catching a suburban commuter cops' eye, then that really speaks for itself.

If the intent is to create more violent drug gangsters with no roots or connections and a visceral contempt for the US, just like NAFTA sent a generation of displaced youths into Mexican cities who ended up as fodder for narco violence, then that is the best way I could imagine to do so.


Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 11:21 am

"So many moderates and conservatives insist that CPS remove children from abusive environments in public housing because they should not be subject to their parents' problems"

Any sane person right or left thinks this.

Most of that post is another straw man, it seems for you to make a point you need to attack what you think other people believe. Perhaps that's what makes a person progressive, the total mono culture of the fringe left leaves them having no idea what anyone else believes.

Posted by glen matlock on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 10:36 am

We should not rip apart families and throw kids back to countries they've never known due to "the sins of the father" unless there has been due process and a conviction.

So many moderates and conservatives insist that CPS remove children from abusive environments in public housing because they should not be subject to their parents' problems, but apparently you're wiling to dispatch a juvenile to quite possibly fend for themselves in an alien environment without concern to the human consequences.

I think that it still a San Francisco value to ensure that the weaker are protected from abuse at the hands of the strong, whether the strong are parents who moved the kid here without documentation or the SFPD which seems to only obey and enforce the laws it prefers to.

Conservatives whine against taxes by complaining that they all get passed onto customers anyway.

Fine, let's do that and regulate business in a way that conforms with San Francisco's values. Let's eliminate taxes for individuals and pay all of our levy to the government as customers to businesses.

Either that, or reconcile the tax code so that individuals get to write off the total costs of living, including pooling money for political campaigns and to support lobbyists, the same way that corporations write off the total cost of doing business.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 5:05 am

Oh marc, this is all so tough for you isn't it.

I'm glad you admitted that the cities health care mandate is a tax, there is some hope for you, so seldom do your co-progressives admit that.

But you make my point again. There are some good unfounded mandates and there are some bad ones, thus making your whole complaint pointless, again, zero standards from the progressives, just "I want it because I want it"

when I hear about an illegal alien kid getting booted I think that it was unfair for the parent to bring them here in the first place and put them in that situation. laws should only be obeyed when they agree with the progressive sensibilities.

Then you wonder off into some strawman argument that I will not comment on since it seems that you are responding to some sort of post that hasn't been posted yet.

Posted by glen matlock on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... well isn't interesting that EVERYONE is up in arms over SANCTUARY in SF. The Mayor, BOS, Campos, etc all are concerned over the law, due process, citizen protection, etc. What a FARCE ... if only it was true ... the ordinance is unenforcable (can't bust a city employee for following federal law) and apparently a city employee can't be liable when it breaks federal law. What do I mean by this ... type my name into a google search engine and read how the city broke the law, admitted to it and LEFT THEIR VICTIM FOR DEAD! When I went to the supervisors, Mayor, etc ... they would NOT even do an investigation thereby NOT finding fault with all the agencies in charge that I went to. Interesting enough with the admission I went back to the city and federal court and asked about the "TESTILYING" in court to have my case thrown out and then to later sign a confession. Sanctuary ... for who? Mayor, or BOS really caring, ha, ha, ha

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 11:21 am

You all rant against big intrusive and abusive government, but once the jack boot is on the neck of an immigrant kid, then you cheer.

Taxation is not the same as an unfunded mandate, where one level of government commands another to perform a task but does not provide funding. Taxation is recognized by the legal system as a legitimate power of government because the constitution says it is. And the constitution says we have the right to free travel as well. The economic sharia of laissez-faire is predicated upon labor mobility.

I doubt that the judiciary would get that upset if a locality declined to expend local resources or prohibited the expenditure of local resources to carry out federal mandates which run against local values. Hell, it doesn't seem to care that you have no constitutional guarantees as a citizen at the border until a bureaucrat says you do for whatever reason they want.

I think we should all get a ballot along with our tax returns that allows us to allocate our taxes into expenditures as we see fit. So many who trumpet the wisdom of free speech in terms of one dollar, one vote, in communication to sway results at the ballot box would recoil in horror if they could not coerce the majority of the population to pay for their pet political projects simply because the political class is skewed further to the right than the population at large and budget priorities are as well.

So many libertarians feel that they are entitled to have others cover the costs of their pet programs, like cops,. military and property protection, while they wince at having to cover anyone else's. People with money expecting those without to pay taxes to protect property rights of those with? The last time I checked, John Locke did not write the US Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson did, and he completed the triad of "life, liberty and ... " with "pursuit of happiness" to replace Locke's "property." Further, the constitution speaks to "promoting the general welfare" explicitly up front and center, and in amendment goes to great lengths to outline a procedure for usurping private property under due process, stipulating to property's legitimacy but rendering its privilege far from absolute. There is nothing in the constitution that says that amalgamations of great wealth must be protected.

Local small business pays no taxes but its business license fee of <= $500. The rest are taxes passed through to the customer, business regulations that ensure that the conduct of business in San Francisco is conducive with the kind of city we want to live in, such as one where workers have such basic necessities as health care and sick time. San Francisco voters do not want to to run in the race to the bottom. We vote for those laws and we end up paying the cost of them.

So what unfunded federal mandates have I been fighting for again?

Posted by marcos on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 10:43 am

Yes Marc, I already read your unfunded mandate high comedy the other day.

You are a cheerleader for all sorts of progressive mandates, so that argument makes you ridiculous.

Like I said you like all progressives pick and choose your way through the reality you created, but I repeat myself.

Unfunded mandates are good when you agree with them and bad when you don't, right?

And again, federal government makes immigration law, the cities carpet baggers do not get that option.

I love that you are upset that we all have to pay for criminal wars, but I would guess that you would be even more upset if a local business decided to not pay up for one of the many mandates that progressives have decreed, and that position of yours is what makes your argument ridiculous.

You have joined the ranks of pro-lifers who get upset when their tax dollars go to abortion but love the war in Iraq.

Posted by glen matlock on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 8:29 am

"We cannot afford to throw more good money after bad at the SFPD, especially if they are going to demonstrate contempt for the democratic process."

Marc, You have heard of the US Senate, House of Representatives and the US constitution?

It's pretty obvious how progressives operate, but I will state it anyways. The progressive will pick and choose their way through reality, as well as the documents and government bodies of this nation so as to find a way to get their way, not unlike their fellow loons, the fringe right.

Watching the progressive make reality as they go along is entertaining, using the state constitution to trump the US Constitution, watching on cable access as white flight Daly uses United Nations proclamations to make law etc...

The most comical thing is that they do exactly what they complain about from the goofy right.

What a convoluted world view the fringe left have made for themselves.

Posted by glen matlock on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 7:23 am

At least Willie Brown was smart enough to count to eight and save himself the humiliation, but then again, Willie Brown was not stupid enough to run for governor while simultaneously alienating both left and moderate/right wings of the Democratic Party.

The Board needs to attach this language to the budget, to prevent the Chief from spending money appropriated by the Board on police salaries to do this work.

If that is not possible, then we need to go back to the Charter Amendment drawing board and write something up that acknowledges that there are nearly infinite demands on law enforcement, limited resources to pay for them, and that the SFPD has not balanced those competing interests effectively.

The Charter should alter the way that policing power works so that it vests with the civilian political leadership at the Board of Supervisors and Police Commission the determination of how to prioritize the "what's" of policing while giving the department latitude on determining the "hows," and allows limited intervention on the "hows" if the department feels that cops in cruisers are more effective than foot patrols.

We cannot afford to throw more good money after bad at the SFPD, especially if they are going to demonstrate contempt for the democratic process.


Posted by marcos on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 7:13 am

If the federal government wants its laws enforced, then it can provide resources to localities with which to enforce those laws.

Laws are shaped in federalism as the result of a continual give and take between the various branches and levels of government. Campos' legislation is part of that process.

The federal government simply cannot compel a locality to allocate its resources to carry out a federal law. I'd love to see the Justice Department try to sue a rank and file cop or the City for not turning immigrant youth over to the feds.

We are forced by the feds to pay for criminal wars. But locally, we have discretion over how our local tax dollars are spent, and I'd hope that our local elected representatives would fight to ensure that our values are represented.

If a San Francisco moderate like Bevan Dufty is supporting Campos' legislation, then that indicates to me that the issue of ensuring the integrity of the 14th amendment, especially as applies to immigrant youth, enjoys strong support amongst mainstream Democrats.

If the federal government were imposing unfunded mandates on localities to advance a progressive cause, then conservatives would be screaming like stuck pigs.


Posted by marcos on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 7:43 am