Sanctuary Insanity in San Francisco


ACRU Staff


July 2, 2008

It is perhaps not surprising that San Francisco has provided the ultimate example in civic madness of where the concept of “sanctuary city” can lead. After being caught flying “juvenile” drug dealers back to their home countries accompanied by city personnel, the City switched to dumping the drug dealers in unsecured facilities in other counties. They promptly escaped. The City has done all this to avoid turning the criminal “juveniles” over to federal authorities.

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The facts for this article, but not the legal conclusions, come from an article in the L.A. Times on 2 July 2008. It concerns the ramifications of San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city.

In line with the ACLU position that all foreigners in the US are immigrants, and that illegal status doesn’t matter, the City has, at its own expense, begun flying young, illegal immigrants arrested for drug dealing, back to their home countries, rather than turn them over to US Immigration control (ICE). This came to light when a City juvenile probation officer was detained in Houston, Texas, while escorting two Honduran juvenile drug dealers back to their home country.

The City has now stopped its frequent flyer program, but is still protecting the offenders from any federal action. Most recently, it has dumped the juvenile offenders in unsecured group homes in other jurisdictions. As a result, eight convicted juvenile drug dealers from Honduras walked away from facilities run by Silverlake Youth Services in San Bernadino County.

Here is the reaction of San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt, to this deposit and escape, “I was unaware that the city had its own foreign policy and immigration laws that superseded federal law. No one should have to suffer from a poorly thought-out policy such as this.”

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had this to say, “Those unfortunate escapes are unacceptable and are producing no intended results….” He also blamed the problem on the local courts, saying that all transactions involving these juvenile drug dealers were “pursuant to court orders.” Apparently, no reporter thought to ask him why San Francisco juvenile prosecutors were seeking and approving such court orders.”

The City District Attorney said, in a written statement, “Every city agency needs to work together to balance our obligations under federal law and the sanctuary ordinance to solve crimes and put the offenders behind bars.” Apparently, the idea that the sanctuary ordinance itself might be a violation of federal law, never occurred to her.

The US Attorney for the Northern District of California countered that, “the phenomenon of Hondurans being trucked into the Bay Area, housed in Oakland and sent out to sell crack cocaine” has been going on for years. He claimed that dealers claim to be under 18 so they can avoid harsher treatment by federal authorities, and further, that San Francisco does not even verify the claims that these are juveniles.

Of course, not being fully identified on the way out, they are able to come back in at will. The US Attorney added, “This was an open loop.”

The story does not mention what researchers on drug-related crime have long known. Most drug users commit hundreds of crimes a year, to finance their habits. So, the special treatment by San Francisco of illegal alien drug dealers who claim to be juveniles, is contributing to crime in general, throughout the Bay Area.

Source for original story on the Net:,0,7608082.story?page=1



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