Photo: San Francisco's Immigration Law
San Francisco is poised to shape its own immigration reform law by ending immigration detention. The legislative proposal would make it illegal for San Francisco law enforcement to detain anyone on suspicion of immigration violations on behalf of the federal government.
The city’s Board of Supervisors are considering the proposed ordinance this week. In essence the county would stop cooperating with federal immigration authorities and stop detaining anyone on the basis of their immigration status. The proposal was put forth by city Supervisor John Avalos for humanitarian reasons, he said that immigration detention erodes “trust and creates fear” in immigrant communities.
Typically local governments send fingerprint information to immigration officials on individuals that have been arrested and suspected of being in the country illegally. Immigration officials then check the immigration status and criminal history of the individual. If the individual is in the country illegally and their crime a minor infraction they are processed for deportation and detained while they await deportation. In 2012 542 people were handed over to the federal government for deportation from San Francisco.
The proposed legislation appears to have the support of a supermajority of supervisors that would allow the legislation to survive the mayor’s veto.