San Francisco, CA Immigrant Rights Commission Promoting an "INS Raid-Free Zone"
Status: Adopted on 9/9/02
Source File: http://www.sfgov.org/site/immigrant_page.asp?id=4973
File # 0022-2002 - Resolution # IRC-090902
(Resolution reaffirming San Francisco's status as a City and County of Refuge and an "I.N.S. Raid-Free Zone.")
Resolution promoting San Francisco's commitment to ensuring that all its immigrant residents, both documented and undocumented, may live in safety and free from discrimination in the midst of the post-September 11 "war against terrorism," by reaffirming San Francisco's status as a City and County of Refuge and an "I.N.S. Raid-Free Zone" and urging City Departments to comply with the requirements of Chapter 12H of the San Francisco Administrative Code.
WHEREAS, The City and County of San Francisco values the dignity of all its residents, regardless of immigration status, and will make every affirmative effort to ensure that all San Franciscans live in safety and free from discrimination; and
WHEREAS, In 1989, the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance No. 375-89, declaring San Francisco to be a City and County of Refuge; and
WHEREAS, In 1997, the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance No. 211-97, codified as Article XXI, Chapter 5 of the San Francisco Administrative Code (Section 5.201) creating the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission to improve, enhance and preserve the quality of life and civic participation of all immigrants in the City and County of San Francisco.
WHEREAS, In 1999, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 515-99 declaring the City an "I.N.S. Raid-Free Zone," and recognizing that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.) often violates civil and human rights during its raids, arrests and detentions, and that such I.N.S. raids threaten the public safety of all San Franciscans (see Board of Supervisors Resolution 020921); and
WHEREAS, In the post September 11 era in our history, the I.N.S. is the United States' biggest and fastest growing law enforcement agency, with the largest number of armed officers (see Statement of INS Commissioner James W. Ziglar to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury and General Government, October 3, 2001); and
WHEREAS, In just the few years after the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 (IRRIRA), Pub. L. No. 104-208, and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), Pub. L. No. 104-132, the numbers of people incarcerated by the I.N.S. has more than tripled; and
WHEREAS, In two months after tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice has detained more than 1,100 immigrants, not one of whom has been charged with committing a terrorist act and only a handful of whom are being held as material witnesses to the September 11 hijackings (see, Amy Goldstein, et al., "A Deliberate Strategy of Disruption," Washington Post, Nov. 4, 2001, at A1); and
WHEREAS, In a haste response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Congress enacted the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA Patriot Act), Pub. L. No. 107-56 and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-173, which give to the I.N.S. greater unfettered discretion to incarcerate current and prospective immigrants without providing the necessary due process guaranteed by the United States Constitution or adequate judicial supervision; and
WHEREAS, The I.N.S. initiated a campaign of questioning more than 8,000 persons based solely on their national origin, immigration status, gender and age, and has tried to involve the San Francisco Police Department in this federal investigative campaign (see Board of Supervisors Resolution 020921); and
WHEREAS, The San Francisco Police Department has rightfully declined to participate in such campaign that is based not on individualized suspicion of criminal activities, but on racial profiling; and
WHEREAS, There is increasing pressure on the San Francisco Police Department to participate in programs such as the "Absconder Apprehension Initiative" which would force the City to expend its limited resources on activities in areas that belong solely to the federal government (see Board of Supervisors Resolution 020921); and
WHEREAS, It has been reported that the US Department of Justice is considering reversing its long standing policy that state and local polices do not have the authority to arrest immigrants for alleged civil violations of the provisions of federal immigration law except under certain limited circumstances as provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act (See, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/files/authority.pdf); and
WHEREAS, The I.N.S. is increasing its raids of homes and businesses through initiatives such as "Operation Tarmac," which has already involved the arrest and detention of several hundred primarily Latino service workers throughout the country, at least 35 of whom are from the Bay Area (see Board of Supervisors Resolution 020921 and www.oclatino.net/issues/2002/june/rtp/castillo2.html); and
WHEREAS, Between 1992-1998, the INS San Francisco District deported more than 72,000 persons (see www.losangelesalmanac.com/topics/Immigration/im04b.htm)
WHEREAS, The I.N.S. has already detained, arrested, and fast-tracked the deportation of more than 60 persons of Filipino descent, including children, as part of their intensified operations (see Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 24 and 26, 2002 and Philippine News, June 6, 2002); and
WHEREAS, The I.N.S. is spearheading a detention campaign, arresting and incarcerating large unknown numbers of primarily South Asian and Middle Eastern non-citizens (see Board of Supervisors Resolution 020921 and Fox News Channel, January 8, 2002); and
WHEREAS, The City and County of San Francisco recognizes that dragnet investigations and enforcement activities in immigrant communities are an inefficient use of public resources (see Board of Supervisors Resolution 020921); and
WHEREAS, The City and County of San Francisco opposes the discrimination and terror being experienced by its immigrant residents in the wake of the current escalated I.N.S. activities (see Board of Supervisors Resolution 020921); now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission supports the continued adherence of the City Departments to the principles and requirements set forth in Ordinance No. 375-89 declaring San Francisco to be a City and County of Refuge; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission urges the San Francisco Police Commission and the Chief of Police to issue a written directive to all local law enforcement officials reminding them of the requirements of Chapter 12H of the San Francisco Administrative Code; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission urge the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors to request and urge the I.N.S. to cease conducting raids, arrests and detentions within the City; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission urges the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to immediately convene a meeting with the I.N.S. San Francisco District Director and representatives from the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission, San Francisco Human Rights Commission, and San Francisco's community-based immigrant organizations to address the concerns contained in this resolution.