Today at question time, Sup. Jane Kim will ask Mayor Ed Lee what his plan is to implement a due process ordinance that Sup. David Campos authored and a super majority of the Board approved in 2009, prohibiting the Juvenile Probation Department from reporting undocumented youths at the time of arrest. And according to an anonymous source, Lee will say he has decided to implement the policy, if the youth in question are “accompanied,” which means they have family here.
Immigrant advocates say Mayor Lee should be commended for his leadership in implementing the due process policy to keep immigrant families together. But they believe that Lee needs to go the whole way. “Immigrant and civil rights groups are adamant that the policy must be implemented for all youth, accompanied and unaccompanied, and this has to be immediately,” our source said. “The due process policy does not discriminate between these two groups and the policy cannot be selectively enforced.”
As Kim planned to point out during the Board’s question time, voters approved San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Ordinance in 1989. That ordinance prohibits our Police Department and local government officials from assisting in the prosecution of immigration enforcement unless it is required under federal or state law.
In 2009, the Board, under Campos’ leadership, passed-by a supermajority-a clarification to that ordinance to prohibit local law enforcement from reporting undocumented youths unless they are convicted of a felony. To date, this ordinance has not been followed by the City.
But in a May 9 memo to the city’s Probation Department personnel, Juvenile Probation Department Chief Probation Officer William Siffermann and Assistant Chief Probation Officer Allen Nance wrote that since revising JPD’s policy 8.12 nearly three years ago [per Mayor Gavin Newsom’s instructions], they have closely monitored JPD’s implementation of its protocols.
And after considering all perspectives and after careful review, they have decided to “modify our existing policy in a manner that aligns our Departmental policies more closely with the values inherent within San Francisco’s Sanctuary City ordinance, without compromising our balanced commitment to public safety and the best interests of the minor.”
“Effective immediately, San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department notices to the federal authorities of minor/persons booked on felonies who are suspected of being undocumented AND are accompanied (lives with a verifiable parent, guardian or blood relative in the immediate Bay Area and is enrolled in school) will be made only upon a felony adjudication, upon apprehension on an outstanding warrant, or upon issuance of a new warrant following release from custody pending adjudication,” the JPD memo reads. “Minor/persons booked on felonies who are suspected as being undocumented, AND are verified adults or unaccompanied by any verifiable parent, guardian or blood relative residing in the Bay Area, whether or not enrolled in school, will continue to be reported to the federal authorities upon determination of this status.”
“Policy 8.12 will continue to ensure that all suspected undocumented minors booked and convicted of committing a felony will continue to be reported to the federal authorities,” the JPD memo continues. ‘While the Department will neither assist nor interfere with the federal authorities’ overwhelming duties and responsibilities related to the enforcement of immigration laws, we will continue to honor their lawful detainers regarding suspected illegal immigrants.”
“We are confident that your uniform compliance with this policy adjustment will continue to reflect the Department’s interest and your professional commitment to preserving families while we discharge all of our many duties that protect public safety,” the JPD memo concludes.