San Francisco is setting the president that the law will be followed and that breaking it will carry stiff penalties. Under normal circumstances that would be the right and just thing to do, but in this situation, it depends on which law you are referring to – federal law, or sanctuary city laws.
A man from El Salvador, who is in the United States illegally, sued San Francisco because the police turned him over to immigration authorities which was in violation of their sanctuary city law.
Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno, 33, is set to be awarded $190,000 in a settlement agreement with the city attorney’s office, said Saira Hussain, a staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus who represented Zarceno. The agreement must be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
“It’s really important for San Francisco to remain a sanctuary city not in name only but also in practice,” Hussain told The San Francisco Examiner. “Our hope is that the department is going to look into this further and really examine the way that the department can do more.”
Fox News reports that the construction worker said he went to police in December 2015 after getting a call from authorities that his stolen car had been found. Instead of helping him, officers detained him and called immigration authorities.
He was taken into custody by federal authorities outside the police station and was in jail for two months and has been fighting his deportation since his release.
“What happened to me was very unfair and it was an injustice,” Figueroa-Zerceno said. “I went into the police station to seek help and they didn’t tell me what was happening and they arrested me and treated me badly.”
City law prohibits law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials except when violent criminals are involved.
Part of the law’s purpose was to encourage immigrants to report crimes they may be afraid of disclosing because of fear that investigating officers would turn them over to immigration authorities.
San Francisco’s sanctuary law was thrust into the national debate on immigration after the July 2015 slaying of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle.
The man charged with the murder of Kate Steinle, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had been released by San Francisco sheriff’s officials months earlier despite a request by immigration officials to keep him behind bars.
House Republicans took action Thursday to crack down on illegal immigrants and the cities that shelter them.
One bill passed by the House would deny federal grants to sanctuary cities and another, Kate’s Law, would increase the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States.
‘Angel mom’ Laura Wilkerson on the Trump Administration’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration and San Francisco’s illegal immigrant lawsuit.