Victory: SF Supes approve legislation limit deportations

FREE SF Statement: Due Process vote represents progress; 
Coalition will keep fighting to end detentions and deportations

San Francisco — This afternoon, just moments ago, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved broadly-supported legislation by Supervisor Avalos to update the city’s pro-immigrant policies. The new law will largely keep local law enforcement out of deportations and upholds key values of Due Process, inclusion, and rehabilitation.

Specifically, the updated ordinance protects community members from new, deceptive deportation practices by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which led to the near-deportation of car theft victim Pedro Figueroa and have added to a growing crisis of confidence in local law enforcement.

In response to these developments, the FREE SF Coalition – including  Asian Law Caucus; Causa Justa::Just Cause;  California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance; California Immigrant Policy Center; Centro Legal de la Raza; Community United Against Violence; Dolores St. Community Services; EL/LA;  Faith in Action Bay Area; Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area; Mujeres Unidas y Activas;  Pangea Legal Services, Young Workers United – issued the following statement:

Today’s compromise agreement is an important step forward for San Francisco’s immigrant communities. The policy the Board approved today will protect many people from ICE’s new, deceptive deportation tactics. In largely upholding Due Process, San Francisco has taken a stand against hate and scapegoating.

At the same time, while we recognize this important step, we believe that any entanglement between troubled local law enforcement agencies and a deportation system that lacks due process is unjust, no matter how limited. As the crisis in confidence in local law enforcement had made clear, communities of color face discrimination and criminalization.

Thus, we pledge to continue to fight to uphold the basic human rights of all people and to continue the fight to end harmful detentions and deportations. We will closely monitor this policy’s implementation and will continue to push for real solutions that honor our values of rehabilitation and move us forward together.

Background: The City’s 2013 Due Process for All ordinance, passed unanimously, guarded against most ICE request to “hold” immigrants for extra time. These requests were later found to be unconstitutional by federal courts. ICE then instituted new, deceptive practices with the same painful results, including requesting “notification” of when a community member is about to be released from jail or for personal information like home addresses.
The newly passed legislation upholds those protections to prevent equally damaging requests for law enforcement to notify ICE of personal information, and also removes an obsolete carve-out in the city’s Sanctuary Ordinance that had left the door open to significant abuse.
After a series of negotiations with Sheriff Hennessy, the finally passed legislation contains limited exceptions.  Specifically, law enforcement can only turn over someone to federal immigration authorities if they have been convicted of (1) a violent felony in the last 7 years; or (2) a certain type of serious felony in the last 5 years; or (3) three felonies as specified in California’s AB 4 in the last 5 years; AND the person is held to answer on an AB 4-eligible felony.
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