Several arrested as group protests ICE fingerprinting program

Several immigration rights activists were arrested this morning outside the San Francisco office of California Attorney General Jerry Brown while protesting a program that links federal immigration authorities with local law enforcement.

Dozens of people gathered outside the State Building at 11 a.m. to rally against Secure Communities, a nationwide program begun in San Francisco this year that shares the fingerprints of arrestees with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE has said the program helps remove those who have committed serious crimes, but immigration rights advocates claim others in the undocumented community are being swept up, and the community is being terrorized.

The immigration rights groups are asking Brown to let San Francisco opt out of the program. They warned today that otherwise, Brown will not have the support of the Latino community in his run for governor.

Amid cries of “Justicia!” and “Let us opt out!” outside Brown's 11th floor office, California Highway Patrol officers informed the group they were disrupting office workers and disturbing the peace. The CHP provides security for state buildings.

Brown was not in the building and a representative did not meet with the group.

About five or six protesters refused to disperse and were handcuffed and arrested for unlawful assembly.

Earlier this year, Brown refused a request by San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey to allow the city not to participate in Secure Communities. Hennessey had expressed concern the program conflicts with the city's sanctuary law shielding undocumented immigrants accused of minor crimes.

Spokespeople for Brown and ICE said in separate statements today that the two agencies had agreed to meet with Hennessey next week to discuss his opt-out request, but Hennessey asked to postpone it.

Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Eileen Hirst confirmed Hennessey asked to postpone the meeting, but added, “It's ICE's meeting to schedule.”

“We are in active discussion with ICE and anticipate that the meeting will happen in mid-November,” Hirst said.

It is not entirely clear which entity – Brown's office or ICE – would have the final say on whether San Francisco can opt out of the program.

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said her agency “remains committed to collaborating with local law enforcement agencies on the implementation of Secure Communities and determining the appropriate next steps for those jurisdictions.”

According to ICE statistics, between June 8, when Secure Communities was begun in San Francisco and Aug. 31, 38 people arrested have since been deported, 20 of whom did not have a prior criminal record.

Bay Area NewsICEJerry BrownLocal

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

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Rendering of proposed ball park at Howard Terminal (Courtesy photo)
MLB instructs A’s to begin exploring other markets while still pursuing downtown ballpark

Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that it has instructed the Oakland Athletics… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants short stop Mauricio Dubon (1) breaks his bat on a ground out in the 4th inning against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on April 22, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Wood, bench power Giants past Rangers

After a bullpen implosion cost Alex Wood a win in his prior… Continue reading

San Fernando, CA, Thursday, April 29, 2021 - California Governor Gavin Newsom waves goodbye to friends after attending a press conference where he signed legislation that will provide a $6.2 billion tax cut to the hardest hit small businesses in the state at Hanzo Sushi restaurant downtown. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Most Read