SF sheriff deputies union files grievance against order not to talk to ICE officials about illegals
This takes the concept of "sanctuary city" to a whole new dangerous level.
The San Francisco sheriff's department allowed accused murderer Francisco Sanchez to walk out of custody last spring due to an order given by Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi that forbade deputies from contacting or communicating with federal immigration authorities. The deputies claim that this ridiculous policy led directly to the murder of Kathryn Steinle.
The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association called for Mirkarimi to correct his “flawed philosophy” and rescind the March 13 memo prohibiting his staff from giving immigration agents information about detainees — including their citizenship status, their booking and arrest documents, and their release dates.
The grievance, filed by union attorneys and sent to the sheriff Monday, adds a new layer to a national debate about sanctuary-city laws that limit cooperation between local agencies and immigration authorities.
Mirkarimi has said his policy reflected the spirit of a 2013 city ordinance intended to protect immigrants — and that city leaders should get together and change the ordinance if they see fit.
The grievance also underscored deep divisions within the Sheriff’s Department. The union has long been at odds with Mirkarimi and has endorsed his opponent, Vicki Hennessy, in this fall’s election. Freya Horne, a department attorney, called the grievance “political posturing.”
Peter Hoffmann, an attorney for the union, countered that it was a matter of public safety. “Clearly, this was a bad policy,” he said. “Rescind it, and let’s try to do something positive going forward.”
The Sheriff’s Department came under fire when San Francisco authorities arrested and charged Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national, in Steinle’s July 1 slaying along the Embarcadero.
Lopez-Sanchez had been convicted of several drug offenses since 2001, and federal immigration authorities wanted to deport him a sixth time. He came to San Francisco, though, after the Sheriff’s Department requested that he be transported from a federal prison in San Bernardino County to face a 20-year-old drug charge for marijuana sale.
Mirkarimi released him in April after the district attorney declined to prosecute.
The sheriff department is not there to protect illegal immigrants. It is there to protect the people. And how they can protect all the people in San Francisco by releasing a dangerous criminal back on to the streets is ludicrous and illogical.
Despite the criticism, there don't appear to be any second thoughts among the 276 sanctuary cities in the U.S. about their policy. Making targets of their citizens apparently carries no political consequences.