Newsom opposes opting out of identifying jailed illegal immigrants

Mayor Gavin Newsom is reminding Sheriff Michael Hennessey who is boss of San Francisco.

While the mayor “respects” the sheriff’s opinion that San Francisco should be allowed to opt out of the Secure Communities program, which identifies illegal immigrants booked in county jail, Newsom doesn’t agree.

“He doesn’t speak for me and I’m not convinced he speaks for The City, but I respect his right to speak for himself,” Newsom said Thursday.

Hennessey last week sent a letter to federal authorities, asking – again – if San Francisco could opt out of the program. Yesterday, Immigration officials said they had contacted California Attorney General Jerry Brown, and said they would most likely meet with Hennessey to discuss the potential of opting out.

While Newsom said he is open to a debate and discussion that would lead to tweaks in the program, he is siding with Brown on this one, saying to not participate in this program would be a mistake for San Francisco.

“To support opting out of this program, I do not. Period. Exclamation point,” Newsom said. “I think there would be serious consequences if San Francisco opted out — we cannot have a patchwork around Secure Communities, that just does not work.”

 

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