A San Francisco family on Monday tearfully pleaded with authorities in one last effort to spare them from being deported to Australia after their undocumented teenage son allegedly punched a kid and took 46 cents from him during an after-school program.
As first reported by The Examiner, two members of the Washington family, the mother, Tracey, and her 13-year-old son, who’s not being named because he’s a juvenile, have been ordered to leave the country by Friday after the teen was charged with robbery, extortion and assault. They are taking her 5-year-old son with them.
Charles Washington, who is a U.S. citizen and the stepfather of the two children, sat with his family Monday afternoon, explaining how they were victims of San Francisco’s “flawed” sanctuary policy implemented by Mayor Gavin Newsom in July 2008. That policy says undocumented youths arrested on a felony charge must be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“All of this is shocking to me,” said Washington, a Muni driver. “I never would have thought they’d treat an American this way. I am a citizen, and I feel like they have taken my right to have a family.”
In November, the Board of Supervisors passed an amendment to the sanctuary ordinance that called for undocumented youths to only be released to immigration authorities if they are convicted of a felony.
“He was recently a legal resident and his parents failed to keep him legal,” said Tony Winnicker, Newsom’s spokesman. “It’s not as if The City targeted them.”
ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley couldn’t comment on the case, other than to confirm that the woman and her son are pending deportation because they overstayed their visa, which was good for 90 days. They came to the U.S. in February 2009 and the couple married in April.
Washington said he contacted immigration services twice after the wedding and both times was told there was no deadline for them to get a green card because the woman and her kids had entered the country on visa waivers.