Homeland Security money for S.F. hangs in balance over immigration

Tens of millions of dollars earmarked for Bay Area emergency preparedness and disaster response could evaporate if the U.S. Senate passes legislation aimed at cutting funding to so-called sanctuary cities such as San Francisco.

The City, along with Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, San Diego and others, provides aid to illegal immigrants without reporting them to authorities such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is an arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

Under the two bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month, San Francisco’s Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security stands to lose the bulk of its funding, which pays for terrorism preparation and other emergency operations planning.

San Francisco received $18.7 million last year and $26.3 million in 2004. Until this year, The City was funded independently, while this year, the money is earmarked to cover the entire Bay Area, which received $22 million in federal funding.

Supervisor Gerald Sandoval is today asking other city lawmakers to support a resolution designed to reinforce support for undocumented workers in San Francisco, despite the potential loss of federal dollars from the Department of Homeland Security.

Sandoval’s proposed resolution criticizes the current federal allotment.

“The federal government has already jeopardized the security of Northern Californian cities by providing the area with less than 10 percent of the $333 million in Homeland Security funding sought,” a portion of the proposed resolution reads.

Still, without those federal dollars, money that pays for training exercises, equipment, public health, firefighters, police and public safety would be gone, said Laura Adleman, a spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security.

“We believe Homeland Security dollars are very important to San Francisco,” Adleman said. “We’ve been indicated as an urban area, meaning there’s a threat” of terrorism.

Sandoval said this is a watershed moment and that Mayor Gavin Newsom has been nearly silent on the issue, unlike New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who last week vowed to engage in “one heck of a battle” if the federal dollars disappear.

The mayor is proud of San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city, mayoral spokesman Peter Ragone said.

Still, Ragone said the Senate could pass different versions of the House bills, thereby making the whole issue irrelevant.

“We’re waiting,” Ragone said. “We’ll wait until the final legislation passes.”

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Niners defensive lineman Joey Bosa played a major role in stopping the Eagles in a Week 2 San Francisco victory. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
What we learned from Niners beating the Eagles

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner Is your glass half-empty? Niners… Continue reading

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Most Read