Mayor Ed Lee: City Will Shield Some Illegal Immigrant Youth from Deportation

Categories: Immigration
Supervisor Campos after his law policy passed two years ago. Now it will be enforced - for some.
Mayor Ed Lee announced Tuesday that he will begin implementing part of the law the Board of Supervisors passed in 2009, shielding illegal immigrant youth booked into juvenile hall from federal immigration authorities - if they have family in the Bay Area.

The board passed this policy two years ago after then-Mayor Gavin Newsom said he would start turning over illegal youth upon being arrested and booked into juvenile hall. Newsom refused to implement the revised policy, which was authored by Supervisor David Campos, despite the fact it had been passed overwhelmingly by the Board of Supervisors in 2009.

The conflict created an ongoing rift in the community and among policymakers who were trying to balance politics with the potential for litigation.

But being the peacemaker he is, Mayor Lee finally decided to implement Campos' law -- just not in its entirety.
Under Lee's new rules, only those undocumented youth who have a family member in the immediate Bay Area and who attend school will be shielded from ICE. Minors who do not have family here will continue to be reported if they're arrested for a felony crime. The probation department sent out a memo with the new policy, which is effective May 9, according to news reports.

"This body enacted that law and that law needs to be respected," Campos said at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. "It is not up to the executive branch to second guess the legislative branch."

Lee's move means that the city will still report youth such as the Honduran drug-dealing teens who put the national spotlight on San Francisco's policy in 2008. That year, ICE agents arrested a San Francisco juvenile probation officer at the Houston airport as he was escorting two teens onto a one-way flight to Honduras.

The Houston arrest was reported in the Chronicle, spurring a national backlash against San Francisco's friendly policy toward illegal immigrants. The rage was further compounded when the news hit that Edwin Ramos, the suspect accused of killing Tony Bologna and his two sons in the Excelsior District, was an undocumented immigrant who the city had shielded from ICE officials -- twice.

As a result, Newsom reversed the long-standing policy and decided that any juvenile booked in county jail on felony charged would be automatically reported to immigration authorities. We wrote about the new policy's consequences in the cover story "Sanctuary Sellout."

Depending on your immigration politics, this is either the city's second sign of support for immigrants in a week or second jab at federal immigration officials. On Friday, news broke that Sheriff Michael Hennessey would no longer hold adult illegal immigrants booked into county jail on minor misdemeanors so that ICE could pick them up and start deportation proceedings. 

Hennessey told SF Weekly on Friday that he made this decision on his own, meaning he never consulted with Mayor Lee.

Is this a coincidence?

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My Voice Nation Help

There are many issues addressed in this law that could lead to lawsuits. It's a very difficult area. I think it's important that they don't want to separate a youth from his or her family. 

Ron Johnson | 


Well if one of these release immigrant offenders hurt me or mine, I'll be taking you and your city to court


This is just another time-bomb waiting to go off. What happens when another family sues the City because they refused to deport someone who later kills?


Attention all civic, federal & law enforcement leaders, please don't play games. If an illegal youth has been arrested for a crime and has family living in the area who are also illegal, please immediately invite all of them to leave and take their kid with them.


It's more like a jab at innocent American citizens and taxpayers, like the Bologna family.

NoVote 2012Hispanics
NoVote 2012Hispanics

Mayor Lee is hoping to have more voters for the Democrat Party and to hell with Law Abiding legal residents. Obama is using the illegal issue in the most shameful manner. No hispanic votes for democrats in 2012. Wake up people.

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