For the estimated 30,000 undocumented immigrants living in San Francisco, life could get a whole lot more difficult under a Trump Administration if the President-Elect sticks to his promise to ramp up deportations even though it is a complete fiction that illegal immigration ran wild under Obama, who in fact deported 2.5 million people between 2009 and 2015. San Francisco could end up with its own dedicated legal team in the Public Defender's Office to represent these people, as the Examiner reports, with Public Defender Jeff Adachi proposing a $5 million fund dedicated to defending them.
Adachi's proposal is modeled after a similar program in New York City established in 2013. “What we are asking the mayor and the Board of Supervisors is for 30 to 40 attorneys in our office and nonprofits who would provide direct legal representation to noncitizens who are facing removal or deportation,” said Adachi. According to the proposal, only 10 of the attorneys would work within the Public Defender's Office itself.
Trump has stated in the past his intention to deport criminal immigrants who are here illegally, which is the same thing Obama's administration has routinely done. Also, San Francisco's Sanctuary City policy, as revised earlier this year, allows the sheriff to notify immigration authorities if they're releasing an undocumented person who has a violent or serious felony on their record in the last seven years, or a series of lesser felonies.
More recently, Trump has thrown out the number that he wants to deport 3 million undocumented people, and per the Examiner, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press conference Thursday that there are not 3 million undocumented felons currently in the country, which means to meet that arbitrary quota Trump will need to deport non-felons.
In a story on This American Life over the weekend, an immigration lawyer in New York spoke about her fear that ICE will come after kids who gained legal status under the DREAM Act, and at the very least that new applications under the Act will now be denied.
Mayor Lee has so far come out swinging, standing firm about the Sanctuary City policy, declaring at a rally last week, "We will always be San Francisco."
But outgoing supervisor John Avalos says he's skeptical. He tells the Examiner, "In the back of my mind, I worry that Lee could cave in. I would like to think that the mayor knows that Fox News and Breitbart News are coming to focus on San Francisco."