DCCC Immigration Resolution Demands Newsom Support Sanctuary City Ordinance

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on March 26, 2009 with 14 Comments

A resolution requiring Mayor Gavin Newsom to redirect SFPD law enforcement efforts
away from criminalizing law-abiding immigrants, was passed yesterday
during a meeting of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee.
File photo by Luke Thomas

By Luke Thomas

March 26, 2009

A resolution that “demands” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom “redirect law enforcement efforts away from criminalizing the immigrant community” and to uphold constitutional due process laws, passed overwhelmingly yesterday during a meeting of the Democratic County Central Committee.

The resolution, drafted by Debra Walker and co-signed by DCCC chair Aaron Peskin, Supervisor David Campos, Robert Haaland, Rafael Mandelman, Supervisor Chris Daly, Joe Julian, Michael Goldstein, Hene Kelly and Michael Bornstein, passed 20-1. Five members abstained including Scott Wiener and a proxy for Senator Dianne Feinstein.

The lone dissenting vote was cast by August Longo via proxy though several members explained that due to a recent health condition, Longo may not have fully understood what he was voting for.

An amendment to Walker’s resolution authored by Scott Wiener that would have removed mayoral responsibility from redirecting local law enforcement away from racial profiling, and harassment of undocumented immigrants, failed on a 19-5 vote. Four members abstained.

“We have a policy being forwarded through the police force” by the mayor’s office, “which is inconsistent with the Sanctuary City policy,” Walker said, adding that she invited Newsom to attend the meeting to explain his policy.

Reached for comment about the passage of Walker’s resolution – expected to be addressed during the upcoming California Democratic Party Convention in Sacramento – Newsom spokesperson Nathan Ballard told FCJ: “This mayor believes that this resolution rests on a flawed premise. Our law enforcement officials do not engage in the conduct alleged by this resolution.”

Those members who supported Walker’s resolution collectively agreed that the purpose of San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Ordinance is to protect law-abiding undocumented immigrants from being reported to federal immigration authorities.

The Sanctuary City Ordinance allows for “the reporting of those who engage in criminal activity, but doesn’t allow for reporting of those who don’t,” said District 9 Supervisor David Campos.

“We have a responsibility to elevate the debate and I think that what the Democratic Party says to people, matters,” Campos said. “What happens around the issue of how we treat undocumented youth is affecting other areas of operations in the city, specifically what the police department is doing.”

Campos cited an attitudinal shift in SFPD policing policy following a shooting incident in his district that resulted in increased traffic stops involving ethnic minorities.

“We have a real concern in the Mission where people feel that they are being racially profiled as a way of targeting people who might be undocumented,” Campos said.

Those undocumented immigrants identified during traffic stops are often reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), whether they have committed a crime or not – in direct contravention of the Sanctuary City Ordinance – and are subsequently deported without trial.

Robert Haaland, who represents thousands of unionized immigrants in the Bay Area, blamed the former Bush administration for the persecution of undocumented immigrants.

“After eight years of George Bush and eight years of ICE raids and eight years of immigrants being treated like criminals, it has affected our consciousness and our rhetoric and how we think about immigration policy in San Francisco,” Haaland said.

SFPD officers stand guard over ICE headquarters
during a protest over Bush administration immigration policy, October 2008.

Haaland also blamed the San Francisco Chronicle for “manufacturing a crisis” following the shooting deaths of three family members in the Excelsior by an undocumented immigrant in June 2008. He said the Chronicle reports’ “scapegoated and distorted and played on peoples’ fears around public safety in order to push us to change our policy around immigrant youth.”

“Their efforts, I’m sorry to say, were successful,” Haaland said, adding that he is “ashamed” that undocumented immigrants are now being deported “on the spot without any kind of due process.”

Supervisor Daly echoed Haaland’s comments, saying the San Francisco Chronicle used the Bologna family shooting tragedy to “whip up anti-immigrant hysteria,” adding that when law-abiding undocumented immigrants are deported to their home countries, they often return with no family connections or support for reintegration.

DCCC member Tom Tseih, who supported Walker’s resolution and Wiener’s amendment, offered to amend Walker’s resolution to add the names of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. With Tseih’s acquiescence, the DCCC, instead, decided that a separate resolution would be considered at the next meeting in April.

The DCCC also passed a resolution in support of Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s legislative efforts to legalize marijuana in California.

More Info

Debra Walker’s Resolution:

Whereas, San Francisco has had a Sanctuary Ordinance since 1989, standing proud in encouraging diversity, welcoming full participation in all that our country and our city offers and supporting community policing by increasing trust between immigrant residents and law enforcement, and

Whereas, even as President Obama has taken huge steps in closing horrific institutions like Guantanamo– citing severe violations of due process and, even as our prison system is being taken to task for mistreatment of inmates, it is clear that San Francisco is instead choosing to encourage such due process violations and racial profiling by reportedly engaging in stopping, questioning and confiscating valid identification cards and vehicles in sections of town with high immigrant populations and referring youth suspected of being undocumented to federal immigration enforcement at the booking stage, prior to receiving a hearing; and,

Whereas, the United States Constitution clearly delineates that we as a country shall not “deny to ANY person within it’s jurisdiction the EQUAL protection of the law” because the effect of taking the rights from ANY of us steps on the rights of us all,

Therefore let it be resolved that the San Francisco Democratic Party takes a recommitted position in support of our constitution and our city’s sanctuary position for all,

And be it further resolved that we demand that the mayor redirect law enforcement efforts away from criminalizing the immigrant community and restore our pledge to uphold constitutional due process laws and our commitment to constitutional rights to all.

Scott Wiener’s Amendment:

Whereas, San Francisco has long stood as a sanctuary city, standing proud in encouraging diversity, and welcoming full participation in all that our country and our City offers,

Whereas, immigrants in San Francisco have long contributed to the City’s economic and cultural vibrancy,

And whereas, San Francisco’s sanctuary policy should protect immigrants from being separated from their families and communities through deportation, while also protecting public safety by ensuring that persons who commit violent felonies cannot take advantage of the sanctuary policy,

Therefore be it resolved that the San Francisco Democratic Party takes a recommitted position in support of our constitution and our city’s sanctuary position for immigrants,

And be it further resolved that the San Francisco Democratic Party supports continuation of the sanctuary policy without extending the protection of that policy to persons who commit violent felonies.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Comments for DCCC Immigration Resolution Demands Newsom Support Sanctuary City Ordinance are now closed.

  1. Marc, whoever you are, you just attacked Howard, no serious response, but akin to a child mimiking/mocking someone, that is why in the rest of the nation, even with your fellow democrats see the left wing loonery of San Francisco as a joke.

    When confronted with the logical extension of the antics of the fringe left, like the fringe right, the fringe left have to resort to mockery or basing their responses on the world they created for themselves.

    Why indeed do I have to follow any laws when San Francisco loons get to pick and choose what they want to follow, and if you don’t agree with the loons antics they scream racism.

  2. There is so much about this that is unbelievable, these felons can just claim to be minors (according to the city itself) and not be deported for their chronic criminal antics, partly because of this gaming the system, according to some there was a manufactured crisis by the chronicle. Considering the constant “outrage” of liberals every day that is hilarious. I wonder how many “outraged” liberals over Oscar Grant nodded in agreement to that.

    The buzz word of “community” just pulls at my heart strings. If a person breaks the law by coming to the USA illegally and then is outraged at being sent back… that is just amazing. I also wonder how many “impeach Bush” liberals agreed with that bit of anti-sense.

    As the city of SF goes begging to Washington for more and more money to give to illegal immigrants I wonder if the sharp pang of hypocrisy ever crosses their true believer born again Christian like minds?

    The fluid morality and self righteous ravings of the fringe left and right are so amazing.

  3. Howard, Gavin Newsom is to San Francisco what Arnold Schwarzenegger is to California. You all should applaud Newsom for his trickle down “stimulus” package. Reagan would be proud. On immigration, Newsom has clearly adopted a conservative position.

    An ad hominem attack would be one against your person, not one that describes the the nature of the panderings of the politically irrelevant.

    A quick watch of FoxNEWS is instructive in watching conservatives try to orient themselves after being trounced. I actually saw Sean Hannity railing against corporate welfare and corporate rule this past week.

    Howard, folks don’t have much money in their pockets right now because the GOP and Dems fed Wall Street steroids and the resulting roidrage decimated the economy. But at least we can avail ourselves of free entertainment in the form of watching conservatives froth yourselves into political knots.


  4. Gee, Marc. Its always a pleasure to get your ad-hominem personal attacks that don’t address the subject.

    I’m not sure who you are calling conservative. You’ll have to take my word it, but neither Newsom, Scott Wiener, or anyone on the DCCC is a conservative. Your labeling them that doesn’t make it so.

  5. Froth, Howard, froth! I’ve waited 30 years to watch the Republicans marginalize themselves into this sort of oblivion.

    Please, please proceed, the illegal alien Honduran teens are lurking around every corner waiting to make you smoke crack!



  6. How can someone who is in the country ILLEGALLY be called law abiding? Aside from inaccuracy or dishonesty they can’t.

  7. The president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors ), three current BOS members, the immediate past president and one past member have let the public know that the their oaths of office to “support and defend” the Constitutions of the United States and the State of California are meaningless. Voting for a Democratic Central Committee resolution to protect juvenile illegal aliens, including the violent, from law enforcement should disqualify them from passing laws. If the City of San Francisco doesn’t have to obey federal and state laws they don’t like why should the citizens obey the laws they pass? Why should businesses obey city laws that force them to pay for city imposed health care, vacation, and sick leave for their employees? Why should citizens pay their property tax or outrages parking fines or stop for red lights?

  8. marc, thank you for using the term “conservatives” instead of “moderates”. i don’t ever want to hear newsom or scott weiner referred to as “moderates” again. in this town they are “conservative” at best. i like the term “corporatist” but it doesn’t roll off the tongue very easily.

  9. So tell me again how passing a resolution concerning the rights of people who cannot vote is going to earn a candidate votes, especially in D6 and D8?

    D9, D10, D3, D4, D11 even D1 maybe, possibly D5 because its a progressive issue but not in an increasingly conservative D6 or a very white D8, D7 or D2.

    This is all insider baseball and Newsom will be able to stand up to the DCCC and tell Californians that he “opposed the San Francisco tax and spend liberals by cutting union head count and reducing government services as well as standing up to those who would coddle illegal alien felons who gun down innocent families by following federal law and deporting them.” I don’t believe this myself, but that is what Newsom is going to do with this.

    It is so funny to see conservatives railing against the winners of elections when the winners are not them. Its happening in Washington and its happening with local conservatives with respect to the DCCC. Newsom and his corporate toadies got blindsided and out-organized. They might be able to win the next election if they get their shit together. Simply because the conservatives did not contest the DCCC election does not mean that progressives will do the same.


  10. I wouldn’t waste time submitting anything to the Ethics Commission.

  11. So the DCCC is now passing resolutions. So who gives a flying f***, this is an impotent measure, and outside the reemit of the DCCC.
    This is a focused campaign for Walker in District 6 and a campaign against Scott in District 8. The cost of this article and the one in the Guardian should be submitted along with other campaign contributions to the Ethics committee, this is shameless propaganda and not fair and unbiased journalism. This type of journalism is beneath contempt and as bad as the Right wing crap we have become used to.

  12. “Clearly what we’ve been doing has not worked,” Clinton told reporters …

    No kidding. Allowing criminals to walk around America is the problem. They do not understand “LAWS” period. Why do our idiot politician think that not enforcing OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS was ever the right thing to do. We did create this problem, by allowing illegal immigrants to walk free. They are criminals. They need to be arrested and departed tomorrow. Folks, don’t think that the people entering this Country are outstanding Citizens of any Country. The honest people obtain the correct visas and obey our laws. Illegal immigrants could care less what laws they break, including, prostitution, drug use and distribution, human trafficking, arms trafficking, ( that guns to those who think otherwise )…

    The way out of this mess is to inform the World, that you will be punished if you break any law in America. Most important, our immigration laws.

  13. Debra’s smart,

    I’d guess this has lots more to do with the coming D-6 race next year (OK, it’s already on) than anything. Debra’s been a machine insider for a long long time and this gives her the appearance of some separation.

    The bigger problem is a police department gone rogue. And, a DEA force too. A friend went back to the site of the DEA raid on Howard about 2 hours after the raid. He looked in and there were SFPD cops packing up grow lights. Hey, they’re not supposed to be there but they run a rogue unit under POA honcho, Marty Halloran that ignores the Mayor, Chief Fong and the people of San Francisco.

    That raid was armed robbery. More like the ‘Shield’ where cops robbed the ‘money train’ and knew the bad guys couldn’t do shit. This is people with guns and badges ignoring the President, the Mayor and the Police Chief.

    DEA agents and SFPD cops stole all the money, all the pot and all of the equipment. I wonder if they robbed a liquor store and a pizza place on the way back so they’d be set for when the munchies set in?