Sanctuary law 'futile,' US Attorney says

City Attorney Dennis Herrera sought an assurance from U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello that if city workers adhered to a new law adopted by the Board of Supervisors they would not face federal prosecution. The response was less than reassuring.

The law, which was unsuccessfully vetoed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, changes how illegal immigrant youths arrested on felony charges are reported to federal authorities. Before, they were reported to the feds after being arrested, but the new policy says they should be reported only after being convicted.

Herrera received an official letter from Russoniello on Thursday.

“Of the numerous proposals advancing immigration law reform, none that I am aware of provide for or hint at, for that matter, creating a mechanism whereby illegal aliens who have or are engaged in dangerous criminal misconduct will be entitled to adjustment of their status or any other favorable treatment, which is why shielding them from detection by federal authorities now is not only potentially illegal but probably futile,” Russoniello wrote in the letter.

He wrote that he has “not authority, discretionary or otherwise, to grant amnesty from federal prosecution to anyone who follows the protocol set out in the referenced ordinance.”

In his letter to Russoniello, Herrera wrote: “If the U.S. Attorney's Office does not provide us with an adequate assurance that it will not prosecute City officials or employees who would implement the Amendment, my Office may be compelled to explore with City policymakers other options regarding the implementation and enforcement of the Amendment, including the possibility of filing a declaratory relief action in federal court.”

The sanctuary law officially goes into effect Dec. 10, and actual implementation is scheduled for 60 days from that day.

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsPoliticsUnder the Dome

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Basketball (Shutterstock)
SI alum Begovich gets his moment, but Stanford falls on Senior Day

MAPLES PAVILION — Generally speaking, Stanford’s home finale on Saturday afternoon, a… Continue reading

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)
California could receive 380K doses of new J&J COVID vaccine next week

California could receive 380,300 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

Most Read