An El Salvadoran national, Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno, went to SF's Southern Station in December in order to report his car stolen. He ended up getting turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and arrested by them, and as the Examiner reports, federal documents show that the SFPD reached out directly to ICE to arrange for Figueroa-Zarceno's arrest on December 2, 2015. Both the SFPD and ICE had previously denied this cooperation, which is in violation of SF's Sanctuary City ordinance, protecting immigrants like Figueroa-Zarceno from deportation.
He's not being deported yet, though proceedings are ongoing, and he now has a hearing scheduled for 2019 an outcry from the public and Figueroa-Zarceno's attorneys led to his release.
In a written statement, SFPD spokesperson Sgt. Michael Andraychak said that an internal investigation had been launched to see if anyone should be disciplined, and said, "It is the policy of the San Francisco Police Department to foster trust and cooperation with all people of the city and to encourage them to communicate with SFPD officers without fear of inquiry regarding their immigration status. We are aware of concerns this incident has raised with some members of our community.”
The earlier story was that there was only communication between the SFPD and the Sheriff’s Department, which then acted as a liaison between the SFPD and ICE.
Figueroa-Zarceno came up as having an outstanding warrant when the SFPD ran his name the day he came to report the stolen vehicle, and they were not able at the time to figure out the details of the warrant. This apparently stemmed from his failure to appear at an immigration hearing in San Antonio in December 2005, and from a 2012 conviction for drunken driving, according to the Chron. Figueroa-Zarceno, who is engaged and has an eight-year-old daughter, says he fully cooperated with ICE when he entered the country, saying that he planned to file for asylum status, and gave his aunt's address in San Francisco, but he never heard from authorities after that.
Below, parts of an internal ICE document via the Examiner:
“SFPD contacted duty officer and stated Zarceno is at the Southern Police Station located at 1245 3rd St.,” according to the Department of Homeland Security file on Figueroa-Zarceno, whose last name is given as only Zarceno in the file.
The document went on to point out the duty officer and another immigration officer “arrested Zarceno in front of a side door to the Southern Police Station.”
Supervisor John Avalos reiterated today that the sanctuary policy was important in cases like this where victims of crimes can feel comfortable going to the police without fear of deportation. "We want to make sure that as the sanctuary policy is politicized by what’s happening on a national level," Avalos says, "that we can protect it and make it stronger and make sure that people like Pedro do not get impacted."