San Francisco Sanctuary Veto Volley Switches Court

Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009  |  Updated 1:00 PM PDT
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San Francisco Sanctuary Veto Volley Switches Court

City of San Francisco

Gavin Newsom has two years left in his term of office, but ambitious politicians are angling for his job already.

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 San Francisco supervisors are expected to overturn a  mayoral veto of legislation that would relax the city's policy on reporting  undocumented youth offenders to federal immigration authorities.

The show down that is not expected to be much of a show down begins at City Hall Tuesday afternoon.

The Board of Supervisors has previously voted in favor of  Supervisor David Campos' ordinance by a veto-proof eight-member majority, but  Mayor Gavin Newsom has threatened not to implement the legislation.

The legislation would amend city law and have law enforcement  report undocumented youth accused of felonies to federal Immigration and  Customs Enforcement after the juvenile court equivalent of conviction or a  probable cause finding in adult court, and not when the suspects are arrested  and booked.

Under the current city policy -- implemented by Newsom last year  after it was revealed the city was not reporting any undocumented youth  felony offenders to ICE -- the Juvenile Probation Department makes the  reports during the felony booking process.

The legislation has ignited passions on both sides of the issue,  between the immigrant community and those who worry passage could threaten  public safety.

Newsom claims Campos' legislation would put the city out of  compliance with federal law and could jeopardize the entire sanctuary  ordinance -- intended to provide protections to illegal immigrants who are  not otherwise committing serious crimes.

San Francisco's sanctuary law prohibits city employees from  assisting federal immigration authorities, but has exceptions for those  booked for felony crimes.

Newsom contends the city is bound by federal law not to prohibit  local law enforcement from reporting juveniles booked for felonies and  suspected of being in the country illegally.

Campos has argued his legislation is legally viable and that  Newsom can and would be required to implement it. He has called it "a very  narrow and measured amendment" to the sanctuary policy that restores due  process to undocumented youth.

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