San Francisco criticized for immigrant sanctuary law News
San Francisco criticized for immigrant sanctuary law

[JURIST] An immigration policy reform group Wednesday called on the Northern California US Attorney's Office [official website] to take over a murder investigation involving an illegal immigrant who previously avoided deportation under a 2007 San Francisco sanctuary ordinance [City of Refuge Ordinance text; press release]. Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) [advocacy website] accused San Francisco of being "repeatedly irresponsible" [press release] in its handling of the case of Edwin Ramos, an illegal immigrant who allegedly shot three people earlier this month. CAPS also said that the city had shown itself generally unwilling to prosecute illegal immigrants. Ramos' case has drawn attention from national lawmakers as well. In a Tuesday letter [text], Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) called on Attorney General Michael Mukasey [official websites] to launch an investigation into the matter:

Because San Francisco’s political leaders have already demonstrated their willingness to act in flagrant violation of federal law, I do not believe that local judicial institutions can be trusted to fairly try the case or mete out an appropriate punishment. Instead, I hope that the federal government will consider stepping in to prosecute the case in much the same way the federal government was forced to intercede during the civil rights period when southern states refused to follow the law or protect the rights of African-Americans.

Tancredo later continued:

I suggest that you direct US Attorneys to take decisive action against cities like San Francisco who maintain these dangerous and illegal sanctuary policies. Federal action now might discourage the next potential terrorist or murderer from taking advantage of these local "catch and release" policies that all too often allow them to continue victimizing other American citizens.

AP has more.

Last year, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom [official website] pledged to keep the city a haven for immigrants [JURIST report], saying that while he could not stop US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] agents from making arrests, he would try to keep them from conducting immigrations raids. In April 2007, thousands of protesters marched in Los Angeles [JURIST report] against President George W. Bush's proposal to grant citizenship to the more than 12 million illegal immigrants in the US. The proposal [PDF text] would have allowed illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive] to apply for work visas, but at the expiration of the visa, immigrants would have been required to return to their home countries to apply for citizenship.