Immigrant Kids Caught in Political Crossfire

Board of Supervisors vote to overturn mayor's changes to Sanctuary City ordinance.

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Oct 21, 2009  |  Updated 4:45 PM PDT
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Immigrant Kids Caught in Political Crossfire

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom can't afford to appear soft on immigration now that he's running for governor.

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San Francisco is a city that welcomes immigrants from all over the world, and protects even undocument immigrants with its landmark Sanctuary City ordinance.

Sanctuary City bars city employees from aiding federal immigration officials, except in cases where undocumented immigrants have been convicted of felonies.

However, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had changed the ordinance to allow law enforcement to report immigrants merely accused of a felony to federal officials for possible deportation.

In an 8-2 vote, a veto-proof majority of the Board of Supervisors voted to amend the ordinance to make sure that juveniles merely accused will should not be referred to immigration authorities.

However, the mayor's office will continue to ask local officials to turn over juvenile immigrants suspected of a crime, and of being undocumented, to the feds based on a recommendation from the City Attorney's office.

Supporters of the Board's amendment say that it will preserve the notion of "innocent until proven guilty," and argue that making someone merely accused of a crime face possible deportation short-circuits due process protections.

Jackson West is no friend of la migra.

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