Call it sanctuary on wheels: San Francisco is about to give a big break to people, many of them illegal immigrants, who are caught driving without a license.Great! San Francisco will become an even more unsafe city because the leftist cadre who run the place want to coddle illegals even more than they already do.
Beginning Sunday, cops will no longer impound cars the first time drivers are pulled over without a license.
The reason: Many such drivers are in the United States illegally - and thus unable to get a license - and the officials pushing the change think that impounding their cars is an unfair hardship.
Instead, unlicensed drivers will be given 20 minutes to phone a relative or other acquaintance with a valid license and insurance to pick up the car. If the driver doesn't have a cell phone, police will help him contact someone.
If no one shows up, then the cop is to call a supervisor to approve the tow.
A second offense within six months means an automatic tow. But, for those who stay clean for half a year, the clock starts over.
The change means San Francisco will be far more accommodating to unlicensed drivers than police in Oakland, San Jose and even lefty Berkeley. Cops in all those cities impound the cars of people driving illegally.
Recently installed Police Chief George Gasc??n said San Francisco is "trying to be sensitive to all of the communities we serve."
"We recognize that this is a problem within the Hispanic community, where people working here can't get a driver's license because of their immigration status," Gasc??Â?n said.
The 30-day car impounds have long been a sore point with the city's Latino politicos and activists, who feel the practice is unfair.
Some police officers we spoke with, however, said people without licenses are often lousy drivers - and that the change means more dangerous streets for everyone else.
"These are the same people who are sailing through stop signs and injuring people," said one traffic cop who asked not to be named for fear of retribution.[S.F. to ease up on unlicensed drivers, By Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, October 26, 2009]