Newsom: Doing the right thing to protect public safety?

Assembly Candidate and Corona Mayor Jeff Miller has issued a press release, Red County OC Blog has commented on it, John and Ken are raising money to send undocumented immigrants to San Francisco, and various anti-illegal immigration activists have their panties in a bunch over it. What are they all upset about?

Nine years ago the city/county of San Francisco declared that it was a sanctuary city.  With that declaration came the assurance that city and county employees would not assist federal authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration laws including reporting to federal authorities the immigration status of individuals seeking assistance from police, fire and public health services programs in the city. The declaration did not mean that the city would utilize federal resources to fund services for undocumented immigrants, which in some cases would be contrary to federal law. It simply meant that the city and county of San Francisco would not report the immigration status of individuals to the federal government, which is not required by federal law.

In response to recent federal immigration raids in San Francisco which have cause some undocumented immigrants to fear reporting crimes or seek treatment for illnesses that could endanger public health, San Francisco has decided to spend the modest sum of $83,000 to advertise the fact that regardless of their legal status, no immigrant should fear being reported to federal authorities if they seek services in the city/county or report criminal activity.

The LATimes reported:

This week, the city launched a campaign featuring TV and radio ads, billboards and bus signs reminding residents of its status as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. The $83,000 blitz will include brochures distributed at police stations and hospitals, promising safe access to city services regardless of residency status.

“We’re inviting people to come out of the shadows and take advantage of services,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. San Francisco has tried to make this point clear for years.

Since it became a sanctuary city in 1989, the city has barred employees from assisting federal officials with immigration investigations or arrests. But Newsom said recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in San Francisco and the Bay Area convinced him the city needed to do more.

City officials wanted to remind illegal workers that the city would not play a part in any possible discrimination they might encounter at the hands of the federal government, the mayor said.

In America all residents need to act responsibly and proactively to make their community and America a better place.  There are many ways to do this, but one simple way would be to contact your police department when a crime is taking place.  Many of us do this without hesitation, but there are some around us who fear contacting their police department due to their official status in this country.  Their status has nothing to do with their desire to do for their community.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has initiated an advertising campaign to inform residents that the City and County of San Francisco supports the efforts of all of its residents to report crimes to the police department and that they will not be punished for their status by contacting the police department. 

Those who believe that if you ignore and shun illegal immigrants that they will go away and all of America’s problems will be magically solved have begun to criticize Mayor Newsom. What part of common sense don’t some people get.

Miller states in his press statement:

“San Francisco’s City Council and Mayor always seem to be on the wrong side of the law, be it gay marriage or illegal immigration,” said Miller.   “The city is spending tax dollars on advertising to welcome illegal aliens to their city, making a mockery of our nation’s federal immigration laws. California’s taxpayers should not send one more dollar to San Francisco until Mayor Newsom and the City Council agree to drop this insulting campaign and start obeying the law.”

Then there is Lady Jefferson Davis Fingers over on Red County/OC Blog who opines with outrage:

It is San Francisco’s FORMAL POLICY to NOT report illegal immigrants to federal immigration agents when they visit public health clinics or hospitals, enroll their children in school, report a crime or seek other city services OR APPLY FOR BENEFITS.

Then she wraps up her comments with:

Perhaps someone has some statistics but I believe that most of Northern California is actually supported by Southern California taxwise.  So  perhaps we should let John and Ken and their Radio show get the ball rolling, send all the illegal aliens to Northern CA, then a fun idea would be to split CA into TWO state, Northern CA and Southern CA.  Then we would NOT have to beg Sacramento to get our own money back.  You know, there is North Dakota and South Dakota, there is Virginia and West Virginia, there is North Carolina and South Carolina…perhaps California should start thinking about this…..

Anonymous said in response:

Relax Lady Jefferson Davis Fingers.

Do you think it is better for a person who does not have citizen status to not report crimes for fear that they will be deported?

Do you believe that most immigrants who come to the U.S. without going through the bureaucracy commit serious crimes once they are in the U.S.?

Mayor Gavin Newsom is dealing with spikes in crime that are similar in most major U.S. cities. The difference between him and other leaders is that he enlisting ALL of his city’s residents for help, not criminalizing him.

This is an election year. If you don’t like the way the government is handling the immigration issue, the vote for somebody other than Rorabacher, Royce, Campbell, and Miller who have all done nothing to realistically solve the problems associated with illegal immigration.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  So I won’t try.

  6 comments for “Newsom: Doing the right thing to protect public safety?

  1. Homewrecker
    April 7, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Spare us yet another example of San Francisco trying to be relevant by latching onto issues it has scant experience with itself. What illegal aliens are they talking about? Unlike in every other major CA city, one can go days in SF without hearing a word of Spanish on the street. Newsom must be thinking of Chinese illegal immigrants. Or maybe he’s drinking again. SF should just get back to what it does best, existing to be pretty, and leave the meat-and-potatoes politicking for cities that experience real problems.

  2. April 7, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    HW, are you fairly sure this is not an issue in SF? My relatives in Washington and Idaho say their states have quite a large population of undocumented workers.

    However, if what you’re intending to communicate is that this is a goofy left wing position that rivals the goofy right wing positions taken by many OC legislators, I agree with you.

  3. Homewrecker
    April 7, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    I would think that, like the documented, they go to those states because the cost of living is cheaper and there are jobs to be had. And yes, supposedly the Mission District of SF has pockets of Latinos, but it is still overwhelmingly black and like all of SF it is expensive because of gentrification. SF learned a long time ago to focus on its core customer base of hipsters, gays, and the idle rich; all others need not apply. For a large city it has a shockingly insular and homogeneous population. You won’t see many elderly outside of Chinatown and there are more dogs than children. And if you talk to people there, that is how they like it. Children are whiny nuisances and old people are too slow crossing the street. But, that doesn’t stop SF from dabbling in what they believe to be the “hard” issues and issuing silly proclamations that only serve as fodder for the right wing. Just one person’s opinion though.

  4. Bladerunner
    April 7, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    What is it about Gavin Newsome that compels him to drop his political pants in the spring of a presidential election year?

    In the spring of 2004 Newsome arbitrarily decided that he had the authority to ignore state law and authorize same sex marriages in San Francisco. Regardless of ones position on marriage equality, Newsome’s ill-advised efforts only resulted in unlawful marriages and some great headlines and campaign material for the GOP wedge machine. At least the Massachusetts Supreme Court had the authority to take their action. Mark this one down as an in kind contribution from Newsome to the Re-elect Bush campaign.

    Fast forward to the Spring of 2008. With Democrats having the GOP on the run with most issues(except 3am phone calls) Newsome has managed to drag the illegal immigration issue off the back burner and onto the front page . Count on swing states like Ohio and West Virginia seeing a lot of “See what the Democrats Can Do for Illegal Aliens” ads this fall. Hello! Democrats don’t win elections on this issue, at least not in toss up or swing states. And if they do, they’re tough talking an acting Democrats who are more inclined to talk about cooperation with the INS with felons and keeping our borders secure.

    Newsome, of course, is insulated from the political fallout given his status as Mayor of Bagdhad by the Bay. Can someone please tell tell this guy to go on a retreat, take a cruise, join the Peace Corps, do anything but please DON’T drop your political pants anymore in a presidential election year.

  5. Purple Progressive
    April 8, 2008 at 10:24 am

    The reactions on here are reflective of the desire to be confined to a GOP defined box and the inability of the Democrats to counteract the noise from the GOP about what Mayor Newsom is actually doing in San Francisco to promote good public safety policy.

    Mayor Newsom is exhibiting what Democrats are supposed to be about, bold and innovative. Civil rights in the 1960′s was not helpful to Democrats in elections in the Southern States, but Democrats did the right thing in embracing pro-civil rights stances. Mayor Newsom’s act on gay marriage was not perfectly timed, but when would the perfect time have been? In California, there seems to be an election every few months.

    If Democrats would recognize and embrace the public safety benefits of Mayor Newsom’s actions, Democrats would actually look bold and smart on the issue of public safety, which has not always been considered the Democrats strong suite, at least since Democratic Presidents were at the helm in World War II.

  6. Homewrecker
    April 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Purple, you make good points and I think that what you are saying is to look at the bigger picture concerning progressive objectives. However, one could argue that, like BR asserted, these were pointless exercises that did nothing but add fuel to the fire. The courts will ultimately decide the gay marriage issue on constitutional grounds and I believe it is being heard by the State Supreme Court right now with a decision expected soon. As for illegal immigrants seeking health care or reporting crimes to the police, well, correct me if I am wrong, but neither health care providers nor law enforcement are bound to affirm aliens’ legal status as long as the party in question is not involved in a crime. Both seemed to me like just another way for San Francisco to insert itself in the fray in an effort to be relevant.

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