San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy may become a hot potato again, this time in local politics, as DA Jenkins seeks an exception for two suspects abroad, and Sup. Dorsey wants an exception for fentanyl dealers.
San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy, which “prohibits City employees from using City funds or resources to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the enforcement of Federal immigration law,” was an enormous source of national controversy when Trump was in office, and when the 2015 Kate Steinle killing was in the headlines. We have not heard much complaint about it since. But both DA Brooke Jenkins and District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey are looking to carve out exceptions to the city’s 34-year-old policy — Jenkins in a one-time exception, and Dorsey with a new law that removes sanctuary protections for fentanyl dealers.
These are two completely separate matters, but both relating to sanctuary city policy. Dorsey’s proposal is broader, and if passed, would be a new law removing sanctuary city protections for fentanyl dealers, as KRON4 reports.
“It is time for San Francisco to withdraw the protection of sanctuary from any undocumented immigrant who is trafficking fentanyl on our streets,” Dorsey said when introducing the legislation at Tuesday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting. He insisted the legislation would only apply to fentanyl, while “preserving the status quo for less lethal drugs.”
Dorsey’s proposal would only apply to an immigrant convicted of dealing fentanyl more than once in a seven-year period. According to Dorsey, there are already sanctuary city exceptions for “serious crimes like arson, carjacking, and robbery,” so this would just add one more offense to the list.
DA Jenkins, on the other hand, is seeking a one-time exception to the sanctuary city policy for two suspects who’ve left the country, according to KTVU. Jenkins's office says one is a suspect in a 2009 domestic violence murder, the other has a warrant for multiple child sexual abuse charges. The Department of Homeland Security has notified Jenkins’s office that they’ve located the suspects living abroad, but won’t extradite them unless they receive a promise that the feds will be notified if either is released from custody (which would technically violate the sanctuary city policy).
"We cannot let two wanted fugitives hiding out internationally get away with murder and sexually abusing young children," Jenkins said in a statement to SFGate. "These men must be brought to the United States to face justice and be held accountable for their heinous crimes. We cannot let our well-intentioned policy be exploited in this way and must act now."
But at least two SF supervisors are against the idea, saying DHS should simply apprehend the suspects and stop trying to win concessions and carve-outs to local laws. “The Feds should discharge their duty and apprehend these individuals and extradite them here to San Francisco," Peskin told KTVU. (Supervisor Hillary Ronen is on the record against it as well.)
The opposition of two supervisors is significant, because the Board of Supervisors would need to approve any exception to the sanctuary city law.
Image: @BrookeJenkinsSF via Twitter