by Jason Hopkins
Law enforcement in San Francisco will no longer be cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, per a directive by San Francisco’s newly elected sheriff.
Paul Miyamoto, who was elected to be the top law enforcer in San Francisco in November 2019, declared to a local media outlet Tuesday that his department will not help with federal immigration enforcement. While San Francisco has long opposed most cooperation with ICE, the announcement further cements the progressive city’s status as a sanctuary jurisdiction.
“Our department is not involved in immigration enforcement,” Miyamoto, the first Asian American sheriff of San Francisco, told KTVU Fox 2. “We feel that is a federal matter, and our realm of interest is public safety, and you can’t really have a safe community if the community members are afraid to come to us to report crimes.”
Namely, his department will not honor immigration detainers lodged by federal agents. If an illegal alien in San Francisco is placed into local custody for an unrelated crime, and ICE asks that the individual be transferred into the agency’s custody, that request will simply be ignored.
Miyamoto argues that the policy promotes public safety, despite that there are many documented cases of illegal aliens committing additional crimes after they have been released from local custody.
The directive appears somewhat redundant given that authorities all across California have already been greatly prohibited in how they can work with ICE. Having been in effect since January 2018, the California Values Act bars state and local agencies from honoring ICE detainer requests, making it impossible for illegal aliens to be directly transferred into the agency’s custody.
While giving his latest State of the Union address earlier in February, President Donald Trump specifically highlighted California as an example of the dangers of sanctuary policy. The president invited as his guest the brother of a man who was killed by an illegal alien. That particular alien had been arrested by local authorities and had an ICE detainer placed on him, but because of the California Values Act law, he was released back into the public.
The Trump administration took its opposition to California’s sanctuary policies a monumental step farther this month when the Department of Justice announced a complaint against a state law that prohibits the operation of private detention facilities. Attorney General William Barr said at the time that the law was intended to forbid the detention of aliens in the state.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, declared that the city was being unfairly targeted by the Trump administration, but she remained adamant about the city’s protection of illegal aliens.
“We’re being targeted on so many levels,” Breed said. “But, the fact is we’re a strong city, we’re a resilient city and we will fight against those attacks and we will protect the people of this city.”
– – –
Jason Hopkins is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.