The left wing of the Left Coast, San Francisco, following a triple murder last year, relaxed its highly touted sanctuary policy and started cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Now that the embarrassing publicity about how sanctuary helped a criminal alien murder suspect has subsided, San Francisco may soon stop working with ICE and go back to harboring illegal alien youth.
County Supervisor David Campos, a former illegal alien himself, is expected to push a measure through the Board of Supervisors in July that would prohibit San Francisco juvenile justice officers from checking the immigration status of any illegals who claim to be juveniles, unless they have been convicted of a felony.
San Francisco has maintained one of the country’s most illegal-friendly sanctuary laws since 1989. Congress outlawed sanctuary policies in 1996.
Yet San Francisco continued to snub federal law. A 2006 bulletin from Police Chief Heather Fong to policemen restricted officers from communicating with federal immigration authorities.
A 2007 mayoral order blocked all city employees from sharing immigration information with the feds, unless required by U.S. law. The local Juvenile Probation Department has taken repeated end runs to circumvent federal immigration laws.
But the sanctuary policy had dangerous consequences, and the local press exposed the dangers. In-depth reporting by the San Francisco Chronicle’s crime reporter has revealed the situation. (The reporter, Jaxon Van Derbeken, recently won the Eugene Katz Award for this exposé.)
Among the deadliest consequences was the triple murder. Illegal alien Edwin Ramos of El Salvador was charged with the murder of a father and two sons. The victims were returning from a family picnic on June 22, 2008.
The victims’ family has sued the city over its sanctuary policy’s “substantial” part in allowing a violent illegal criminal alien to avoid removal.
Ramos benefited directly from the city’s sanctuary policy. A member of the violent gang MS-13, Ramos was convicted of two felonies as a juvenile. He jumped a suspected rival gang member on a city bus. He also attempted to rob a pregnant woman.
Four days after release from a juvenile shelter, Ramos committed the purse-snatching attempt. The juvenile department withheld any cooperation from immigration authorities.
Another illegal criminal alien who benefited from the sanctuary policy was Eric Antonio Uc-Cahun. This Mexican native was arrested with two other gang members for assaulting a rival gangster in a park. Uc-Cahun was 17 at the time, so juvenile authorities protected him from immigration enforcement.
He reportedly had had “numerous prior contacts” with police already. While on probation, Uc-Cahun allegedly slit open the belly of a rival gangster. Behind bars, this foreign criminal penned an incriminating letter to a fellow gang member. He was charged with witness intimidation, attempted murder and robbery, among other counts.
Dangerous gangs exploit San Francisco’s policy of shielding young illegal aliens from deportation. They use illegal Honduran youths to push crack cocaine on American streets. The gangs know of the loopholes for minors, combined with the sanctuary gag rules.
Arrested aliens “routinely” claim to be minors. The Chronicle reported that they live “communally in Oakland and other cities at the behest of drug traffickers who claim to be their relatives.”
These “juveniles” have “a three-day growth of beard.” After the city suspended its policy against turning over supposed juveniles to federal immigration officers, it became clear that nearly 30% of illegal criminal aliens claiming to be youths were actually adults.
The sanctuary policy has meant repeat arrests, with little consequence to the foreign criminals. And alien crack dealers simply left a group home.
Things got so bad, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, Joseph Russoniello, launched an investigation last year of San Francisco’s practice of circumventing federal immigration law.
The city has acted brazenly, despite self-imposed dangers. The city attorney issued a legal opinion in 1994. It said the sanctuary policy did nothing to stop the city from giving federal authorities custody of juvenile convicted felons. But city officials went overboard not to follow federal laws concerning foreign criminals.
Juvenile justice officials flew foreign offenders to their home country, on taxpayers’ dimes. San Francisco probation officers have been stopped at the Houston airport with several illegal aliens headed to Honduras. The U.S. attorney told the Chronicle he was “flabbergasted that the taxpayers’ money was being spent for the purpose of ferrying detainees home.”
All that political correctness cost the city, though. Keeping illegal aliens in juvenile hall cost San Francisco taxpayers $2.3 million from 2005 to mid-2008. The deportation-avoidance flights, all 25 (15 to Honduras, one to Mexico, nine to American Samoa), totaled nearly $39,000.
It took the triple murder of Americans by the illegally present Salvadoran repeat offender before Mayor Gavin Newsom stepped in last year. The city began referring juvenile aliens to federal immigration authorities.
Now, a year later, the loony Leftists of the Left Coast are making their move. San Francisco’s sanctuary policy could soon be back in full force relative to juvenile criminals (most of it remains in place anyway).
In San Francisco, the lunatics may again run the entire sanctuary asylum.