Due Process for All ordinance may offer better protection for domestic violence victims

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Carolyn Ji Jong Goossen, legislative aide for Sup. David Campos spoke at the rally.
PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

In San Francisco Sup. John Avalos’ District 11, half of all residents were born outside the U.S. In Sup. Jane Kim’s District 6, more than a third of residents are foreign-born, and almost half speak a language other than English.

Given the sizable immigrant population in San Francisco, it may not come as a surprise that Secure Communities (S-Comm), a federal immigration program administered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is highly unpopular. What might not be so obvious is how dramatically S-Comm can impact the lives of foreign-born women who are survivors of domestic violence.

The reason for this is simple. “If you are a victim or a survivor of domestic violence and you call the police, you do not want to end up deported,” Beverly Upton of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium explained at a rally this afternoon, where advocates from organizations such as Mujeres Unidas Activas, Causa Justa, the Filipino Community Center and others stood and held banners demonstrating opposition to S-Comm. “We want it to be safer to call the police, not less safe.”

A member of Mujeres Unidas y Activas who introduced herself as Lourdes and spoke through a translator delivered a personal account of feeling fearful of police as well as an abusive partner. “Many times, abusers tell us not to call the police, because the police will not believe us. They say the police will probably deport us.”

The domestic violence and immigrant community advocates were there to champion Avalos’ Due Process for All Ordinance, which is being introduced at today’s Board meeting and is co-sponsored by seven other supervisors, essentially guaranteeing its passage. Avalos himself didn’t speak, and Sups. David Campos and Board President David Chiu, who were co-sponsors of the legislation, sent female staff members to make statements on their behalf as part of the all-female roster of speakers.

The legislation prohibits law enforcement officials from detaining individuals solely in response to immigration detainer requests issued by immigration authorities under S-Comm. As things stand, “the request has been honored in many cases,” Avalos explained in comments to the Guardian, even though California Attorney General Kamala Harris has affirmed that local law enforcement agencies are not obligated to comply with ICE detainers because they are mere “requests” and not legally binding. Since 2010, according to data provided be Avalos’ office, 784 San Franciscans have been deported after being turned over to federal authorities due to ICE detainers.

Sup. Jane Kim called S-Comm “a giant step backward when it comes to equality and fairness,” and added that S-Comm “makes our neighborhoods less safe.” 

Legal Counsel Freya Horne read a statement on behalf of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, stating that the sheriff has reduced the number of ICE detainers leading to deportations, and was supportive of Avalos’ legislation. She added that Mirkarimi had made it a policy to honor immigration detainer requests only in cases of criminal convictions of serious or violent felonies.

Avalos said he was compelled to move the legislation forward because “I’ve talked to so many people whose families have been separated, and have been devastated,” due to deportations under S-Comm. “We want to make sure we’re maintaining a level of due process,” he added, since the detainer requests are routinely issued without warrants or a requirement to show probable cause.

Comments

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

factor. It is highly newsworthy that he is still in a position to affect policy on DV or, for that matter, on any aspect of law enforcement.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

If a city council member in some high end area tried and run something counter to insider trading laws because the citizens of that area were for it, the author would be cool with that of course?

Posted by matlock on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

L O L

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

Jason Grant Garza here in regard to the LAW, it's enforcement and what this article speaks to. First, type Jason Garza into youtube to see 200 videos of SF DPH breaking medical law and the Sheriff and SFPD do NOT enforce medical law. Then look art the six videos with Ross 11/27 where at the end he states THEY CAN NOT ADVOCATE for the disabled so do you really believe they will for the domestic violence or ANYONE?
The article then states "Legal Counsel Freya Horne read a statement on behalf of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, stating that the sheriff has reduced the number of ICE detainers leading to deportations, and was supportive of Avalos’ legislation. She added that Mirkarimi had made it a policy to honor immigration detainer requests only in cases of criminal convictions of serious or violent felonies." So what about MEDICAL LAW ? Due process argument for ICE detainers and NONE for MEDICAL LAW for the disabled?
Go to the youtube videos and NOTE who I have been to ... this article is just more propaganda ... compare the RETHORIC to specifics such as my case, the videos, the hours spent and still the failure. As a matter of fact ... DUE PROCESS ... what is that ... is that what I got when the city broke federal medical law in 2001 and had my case dismissed in 2003 (C02-3485PJH) with FRAUD and TESTILYING only to sign a settlement/confession in 2007 with the OFFICE of Inspector General http://myownprivateguantanamo.com/settle1.html only to LEAVE their INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD! Where is the DUE PROCESS ??? This travesty of LAW has STILL NOT been explained yet the lawbreaking has continues ...
Go and look at the the Mayor's Office on Disabilities videos on youtube that I made to show the FARCE and RIGGED GAME. Go and see the videos for the Sheriff, SFPD, Chief of Police, Police Commission, Human Rights Commission, Office of Citizen;'s Complaints, etc and you will see the GAME PLAYING and naturally delay with NO HOPE to fix and correct the FAILING METHODOLOGY.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 6:30 am

“If you are a victim or a survivor of domestic violence and you call the police, you do not want to end up deported,”

The police are so useless, you have no fear of that.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

they get Federal money to prosecute it. That is why if you are charged with DV, you will likely get convicted of at least something, as Mirk discovered. While if you conducted a much worse assault on someone who wasn't our spouse or domestic partner, chances are you'd get diversion.

I've no issue with illegals who work hard, don't draw benefits and do not commit crimes. But fail any of those three tests and it should be zero tolerance and extradition.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 3:08 pm