Friday, May 7, 2010

Sanctuary Silly

Amid all the shrieks about boycotts, lawsuits, and protests against Arizona's "hateful" immigration bill, the US is implementing rules that will put a major dent in the practical effects of the sanctuary city movement, of which San Francisco is a leading light: US Policy Undermines SF Sanctuary City Policy

San Francisco officials are about to lose the ability to decide which criminal suspects who may also be undocumented immigrants should be reported to federal officials, The Chronicle has learned.

Starting next month, the San Francisco County Jail must begin participating in an automated reporting system set up by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The program, Secure Communities, automatically links the fingerprint databases of state justice departments with a database used by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, known as ICE.

As part of San Francisco's 1989 sanctuary city policy, officials only report felony suspects whose legal status can't be readily confirmed upon booking to federal officials. The new program would end that discretionary practice because all digital fingerprints will automatically be forwarded to the state Department of Justice and on to federal immigration authorities for review.

Sanctuary city policies are mostly symbolic, "feel-good" resolutions that make undeserving politicians look righteous and idealistic. But, they also have a practical effect, in that law enforcement will inevitably arrest illegal alien criminals but refrain from doing the one thing that would get them out of our hair - reporting them to the feds for deportation.

San Francisco's normally loudmouthed illegal alien advocates in the mayor's office and on the Board of Supervisors are oddly quiet about all of this. The only city official to speak publicly is Sheriff Mike Hennessey who will be complying with the new rules.

"Essentially, this guts San Francisco's sanctuary ordinance in terms of criminal justice," San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey told The Chronicle on Wednesday.

Don't try to sound so disappointed, law man. Hennessey gamely lurches into the jack-booted slippery slope arguments beloved of Open Borders advocates:

Hennessey raised concerns that the implications could be far broader and potentially affect anyone whose fingerprints are run through the California Department of Justice for a criminal background check, including those applying for certain jobs, such as child care worker and teacher.

But David Venturella, national director of the Secure Communities program, said Wednesday night that Hennessey's concerns are baseless. The system is designed only to check the backgrounds of suspected criminals who come into contact with police, sheriffs, highway patrol and the like. To assert otherwise, he said, "is not true."

Not true?! How dare you, suh! You impugn our honor!

SF's sanctuary city policy may have been popular in the Mission (illegals) and Pacific Heights (gentry), but was generally unpopular in the rest of The City, especially after a gangsta from El Salvador shot a father and his sons. There is nothing functionally different from Arizona's law and the new US policy - law enforcement will be inquiring into and reporting on immigration status - except the latter is promulgated by the Obama administration, rather than evil Republicans. Yes, I am having a delicious side of irony with my breakfast this morning.

It only seems fair: if Arizona can't draft laws that address immigration status, then SF, and other cities, shouldn't be able to turn around and undermine immigration law. Sanctuary cities have been a glaring example of politically correct flouting of the law on behalf of a constituency that doesn't even have the right to vote (!), and anything that shuts that down is OK with me.

1 comment: