Take Francisco Sanchez, the confessed killer of Kate Steinle whom he shot as she strolled with her father on a San Francisco pier. Sanchez had been deported five times to Mexico, but said he returned to San Francisco because of its sanctuary policy.
In 2008, another illegal alien crime shocked San Francisco — the murders of Tony Bologna and his two sons Michael and Matthew.
Below, Tony Bologna and his two sons were shot to death by an MS-13 gangster a short distance from their home in San Francisco as they returned from a family picnic.
The shooter, Salvadoran Edwin Ramos was clearly a dangerous character, a known gang member who had earlier been arrested for assaulting a passenger on a bus and attempting a robbery of a pregnant woman, yet he was not deported because San Francisco shielded him.
But since Donald Trump, a strong enforcer of immigration law, has been elected president, San Francisco is determined to protect the foreign lawbreakers rather than defend the public safety of the citizens. It’s not like there’s no cost to this liberal insanity: San Francisco has four preventable deaths on its conscience — if it had one.
Plus, open borders and morally bankrupt cities don’t just attract moochers and gangsters from south of the border, they also entice America’s jihadist enemies. Former INS agent Michael Cutler made that point during a Newsmax interview from November 15:
“Look at the warnings that we’ve had from John Brennan, the head of the CIA, from James Comey, the head of the FBI, saying that ISIS was abetting terrorists in the refugee flows and finding other means to come here and kill us, and we’ve seen it time and again. . . These are failures of the immigration system and it’s the immigration laws and our borders that our first and last line of defense.”
The Chronicle’s big story includes not only the predictable baloney of sob stories, but it also notes the desire of the Public Defender for $5 million in taxpayer funds to legally protect illegal aliens — so citizens would again be forced to pay for their dispossession and decreased safety.
S.F. scrambles to protect sanctuary city status, San Francisco Chronicle, November 20, 2016
Just days after Donald Trump was elected America’s next president, Mayor Ed Lee stood with a line of top city officials on City Hall’s grand marble staircase to promise that San Francisco will uphold its 27-year-old sanctuary city laws protecting people who are in the country illegally.
“We have been and always will be a city of refuge, a city of sanctuary, a city of love,” Lee told the crowd gathered for a unity ceremony on Monday. “We promise to be a city that’s always welcoming. There are no walls in our city!”
Other mayors, including those in Portland, Ore., Seattle and Chicago, made the same pledge in the days after the election. Trump’s top immigration adviser, Kris Kobach, promptly fired back. A co-author of Arizona’s controversial 2010 immigration law, Kobach tweeted “End #SanctuaryCities” and shared part of an interview he had done on Fox News.
“They’re just thumbing their noses at federal law and putting their own citizens in danger,” Kobach said of mayors like Lee. Trump, he said, “has made it very clear he cares about the victims of these illegal alien sanctuary cities.”
On Friday, it was announced that Trump’s pick for attorney general is Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has opposed nearly every immigration bill to come before the Senate in the past 20 years and has opposed even some legal immigration programs.
Trump has pledged to immediately deport millions of immigrants once he takes office in January. He has also said he will strip sanctuary cities and counties, which number more than 300, of all federal funding if they continue to shield immigrants who did not come to the country legally.
In San Francisco, which receives about $1 billion in federal funding each year, city officials say they know they must quickly turn their pledges into concrete action. Among the efforts expected or possible:
• Public Defender Jeff Adachi wants $5 million annually for his office to provide representation for people facing deportation — legal aid they are not currently guaranteed. He said he hopes to have a proposal before the Board of Supervisors in the next few weeks.
• City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office is studying various options, including suing the federal government if it does withhold funding, according to city Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who has been in talks with the office.
• Lee, whose parents immigrated legally to the U.S. from China, vowed to protect data collected by the county clerk’s office for issuing the SF City ID Card, which is used mainly by people without legal status as proof of identity and residency.
• The school district, the public health department, sheriff and police chief all said they, too, will continue to abide by San Francisco’s sanctuary city laws.
“Whatever the edict from the mayor is, this department will support and defend it,” said acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin.
Immigration attorneys and advocates, though, are pushing politicians to take more sweeping action. Among the ideas being raised is having California declare itself a sanctuary state and offering state citizenship. Another proposal would direct the Department of Motor Vehicles to offer driver’s licenses that don’t denote the holder’s status.
But such ideas would take time to enact. In the meantime, the assurances Lee and others can offer do little to quell the fear permeating the lives of many of the estimated 44,000 immigrants residing illegally in San Francisco.
Myrna Melgar is the executive director of Jamestown Community Center in the Mission District, which serves 1,500 children, 90 percent of whom are Latino and poor. She cried as she described the fear she has seen them express since Trump’s upset election. Many are citizens by birth but have parents who are not.
“They were all crying,” she said. “They’re saying, ‘Does that mean my dad’s going to get deported? Does that mean my mom’s going to get deported?’”
In the Mission, she said, Trump suddenly went from a joke — his face on piñatas and other gag gifts — to president-elect.
“You walk down Mission Street, and there are all these Trump piñatas in all of the stores — it had been the boogeyman,” she said. “And then, it’s true. The boogeyman is real.”
In San Francisco, fears of what may lie ahead radiate beyond the heavily Latino Mission District.
Veronica, 43, has all the trappings of success: three children, an apartment she rents in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood and a restaurant she owns in Larkspur. But she’s achieved it all while living in the U.S. illegally.
Veronica, who spoke on the condition The Chronicle would not use her last name, said her 14-year-old son has already asked her how the family would hide. “Nothing is going to happen,” she assured him. But she is not sure she believes that.
She immigrated illegally — with an 8-month-old daughter — to join her husband in the U.S. 22 years ago. Her daughter obtained temporary legal status and work authorization through a federal program, which many people expect Trump to eliminate. Her other children are U.S. citizens by birth, but Veronica and her husband remain undocumented.
Five years ago, the couple opened a restaurant in Larkspur. They have 20 employees, all of them Latino and many fearful of deportation. Veronica said they didn’t know their boss was also living here illegally, but now she wants them to know they’re not alone.
“I feel proud to be an undocumented immigrant and have this restaurant, because people from all over arrive and say, ‘I want to talk to the owner.’ And I am the owner,” she said. “I have achieved the American dream.”
The philosophy behind sanctuary cities is to protect people living in the country illegally from being identified to federal immigration officials so they will feel unafraid to live open lives: cooperating with police and coming forward if they witness a crime, and having access to health and education services.
San Francisco adopted sanctuary status in 1989 after learning that undocumented victims of domestic violence were not coming forward for fear of deportation. Robert Rubin, formerly with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, drafted the city’s original sanctuary city ordinance. He warns that abolishing sanctuary status would end cooperation with police and send crime underground.
Each jurisdiction establishes its own sanctuary rules. San Francisco’s is among the most expansive, with strict limits on when federal immigration agents are notified that someone who is in the country illegally is being held in county jail. Former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi barred communication with federal agents in virtually all circumstances.
That policy made national headlines — and earned scorn from Trump and many others — in July 2015, when 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was shot and killed while walking with her father along San Francisco’s Pier 14.
The alleged assailant, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, is a Mexican immigrant with a criminal record, in the country illegally, who had been deported five times. Federal officials had turned him over to San Francisco in March 2015 to face an old marijuana charge, but under Mirkarimi’s policy he was released without notification to immigration agents.
Steinle’s family has sued the city, saying Lopez-Sanchez should have been kept in custody and deported yet again. He is due to stand trial for second-degree murder in February. A federal magistrate judge is weighing a motion by the city and the U.S. government to dismiss the Steinle family’s lawsuit.
Trump seized on Steinle’s death. Two weeks before she was killed, he began his presidential campaign by saying he would build a wall on the Mexican border. He painted Mexican immigrants as criminals, including rapists and drug dealers. In his acceptance speech at the Republican nominating convention in July, Trump said: “My opponent wants sanctuary cities. But where was the sanctuary for Kate Steinle?”
After Vicki Hennessy succeeded Mirkarimi as sheriff in January, supervisors approved a slight change in the city’s sanctuary policy. It allows the sheriff to notify immigration agents if someone without legal status is being held on a violent or serious felony charge and has had certain felony convictions in the past. Before such notification, though, a judge must determine there is probable cause to hold the defendant on the current charge.
So far, no inmate has met those criteria.
Christian Buenrostro, 23, is at high risk of deportation under Trump’s plan. He has a criminal record.
Buenrostro was brought to the United States by his parents from Mexico City when he was a toddler. He knew from a young age he was in the country illegally, but he didn’t understand what that meant. “I was like, ‘What do you mean we don’t have papers? Can’t we just print them out?’”
As a teenager, his status began weighing on him. He felt he had no real future, so he dropped out of high school and took a job at Burger King in Colma. At 18, he got in a fight with his girlfriend in a store parking lot. Bystanders called the police, and Buenrostro was arrested and charged with battery and domestic violence. He said he didn’t hit his girlfriend, but that on the advice of his lawyer, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery because going to trial was too risky. He didn’t realize accepting that plea could lead to his deportation.
He is working with a new lawyer to try to get his record expunged. But he knows there is a possibility he’ll be deported to a country he doesn’t remember and where he knows no one. For now, he lives with his parents and younger brother, a U.S. citizen, in Daly City.
“I don’t feel like a criminal,” Buenrostro said with a laugh. His voice tightened. “I think I laugh because of confusion. And I’m scared. … I wake up every day not knowing what’s the purpose. I’m really stuck. Filled with anxiety every day.”
Trump’s stated plans for dealing with illegal immigration have changed significantly over the past 18 months, and city officials say they have no idea what to expect.
During the campaign, Trump said he wanted to deport all 11 million people who are in the U.S. illegally. Since being elected, he has said that he instead wants to quickly deport 2 million to 3 million people with criminal records, and decide what to do about the rest later.
Faye Hipsman, a policy analyst with the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, said that the number Trump has cited more recently “has created a lot of confusion.” It probably comes from a 2012 estimate by the Department of Homeland Security that there were 1.9 million noncitizens living in the United States who could be deported because of criminal convictions. Of those, according to Hipsman’s organization, 820,000 are here illegally, and 37 percent of those have felony convictions.
Hipsman said that by those estimates, Trump’s target number could be remotely accurate only if he intends to quickly deport all noncitizens — including those here legally — and if he is including any sort of crime, including misdemeanors, traffic violations and nuisance crimes. That would mean a Silicon Valley software engineer here on an H-1B work visa who has a DUI on his record would be at the same risk of being deported as someone convicted of a violent crime.
Trump has said that stripping sanctuary cities of federal funding would occur in his first 100 days in office. The $1 billion in federal funds San Francisco receives annually makes up more than 10 percent of its $9.6 billion budget. The new president could eliminate some relatively small grants to the city unilaterally, but major funding cuts would require congressional action.
While much is uncertain, city officials say they know two things: Because of the Steinle case, San Francisco is sure to be a target of the new administration, and the city needs to prepare for the worst possible scenario.
Its first move is likely to be enacting Adachi’s plan to provide legal representation in deportation proceedings. The public defender said he would base the program on similar ones in New York City and New Jersey. Details of his proposal are still being sorted out, Adachi said, but he expects to request $5 million to hire 10 attorneys and pay nonprofit legal organizations for help.
A June report by the California Coalition for Universal Representation, a coalition of immigration groups, said that 68 percent of detained immigrants in California have no legal representation. Those who do have counsel, it said, are five times as likely to win their cases.
Francisco Ugarte, hired in 2014 as the first immigration specialist in Adachi’s office, is the likely choice to lead the new effort. While immigration attorneys don’t know what to expect under Trump, he said, San Francisco needs to be ready to fight.
“As bad as things are going to be, we have to stay calm and be strong, and live our lives and fight when necessary,” Ugarte said. “I don’t think he’s thought through how hard we’re going to fight back.”