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Online petition to fix flaw in Sanctuary City law

Please sign this online petition asking for amendment to San Francisco’s Sanctuary City laws to prioritize public safety, health, and welfare.

There has been a pretty robust conversation on NextDoor.com among neighbors about public safety concerns following the tragic killing of Rincon Hill resident Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14 along the popular Embarcadero Pedestrian Promenade last Wednesday, July 1, 2015. A lot of us would like to see beat cops walking or bicycling regularly along The Embarcadero and Market Street who could spot unusual behaviors or objects – help prevent crime. Then there is the question of why a notification request from the Federal government was not honored.

While local and federal government representatives point fingers, many residents want to fix what appears to be a flaw in the law that required the City’s employees to harbor felons under the guise of our Sanctuary City policies (San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 12i).

The current San Francisco law relating to Civil Immigration Detainer requests, passed unanimously by all 11 Supervisors in the fall of 2013 and signed by Mayor Lee, only allows for cooperation with Federal immigration authorities in regards to those persons in San Francisco’s custody with a Violent felony conviction within the past 7 years. The man charged with killing Kathryn Steinle did not meet that limited criteria. Otherwise, the law says, “… the federal government presently spends more on civil immigration enforcement than all federal criminal law enforcement combined. Local funds should not be expended on such efforts …”  Local funds are used to pay the compensation for the time of City employees and for the telephone that could be used to make a call to ICE, of course.

Any person successfully convicted of a felony, generally punishable by at least one year in prison, likely possesses a disregard for the health, safety, and welfare of our community beyond the beliefs of someone convicted of a misdemeanor or infraction (speeding ticket). Some neighbors have agreed that San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 12i should be amended by the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to REQUIRE San Francisco law enforcement employees to cooperate with the requests for notification by Federal or State law enforcement agents of a person’s release from jail when that person has ANY felony conviction on their record.  A petition has been created saying as much.

If you agree that this tweak to the existing City law is common sense and needed to prioritize the public’s health, safety, and welfare, I  would like to ask you the favor of signing this online petition which will add your name and send an email to our Mayor, all 11 Board of Supervisors elected officials, San Francisco’s two assembly members in Sacramento, our State Senator, and Governor Jerry Brown to make this change to San Francisco law so that our Sanctuary City Policies do not require San Francisco Sheriff’s Department employees to harbor felons.

The Sanctuary City Policies are helpful to the extent they do not discourage San Franciscans from coming forward to help authorities resolve crimes and leave San Franciscans just trying to improve their economic situation alone, but we must alter the current law that requires  that no resources be expended by City employees, which would include picking up a telephone to notify the Federal agents, on cooperating with Federal immigration authorities in regards to persons who have ever been convicted of a felony.

Petition link to share with your friends on social media: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/san-franciscos-sanctuary

Also, the deceased’s family has set up a GoFundMe web page to raise funds in memoriam of their daughter and to donate to causes that were important to her.

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