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tv   [untitled]    September 8, 2013 8:30am-9:01am PDT

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[inaudible] legal services. people organize to win rights and power. san francisco organizing project, the department of policy and social concerns of the san francisco arch diceis and young workers, nighted and the unions and i want thank you for all your work. i want to thank my staff in my office and raquel for her work bringing the coalition together and bringing the community together with city hall. i want to thank the main drafter of the ordinance alecia [inaudible] in the city attorney's work in bringing this ordinance together. this ordinance is supported by the domestic consortium , organizations and the sheriff as well. i know others
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want to speak on this and i want to give them the opportunity moving forward but overall this is about strengthen our efforts to protect immigrants and make sure we can have the community policing efforts that are really based and founded on trust between community residents and the police, and this is legislation is a bold step in doing that. it's also the strongest local ordinance that will assert itself against the s-com program that resulted in many thousands of people who have been deported from the united states by the dragnet that the program has created, and it's also founded on the principle it should be sacred for all and based in our constitution that we have due process denial of liberty and with they will let
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the others speak and the public speakers and we have the chair of the commission who will speak first. >> great supervisor mar. >> thank you. i wanted to thank supervisor avalos for bringing this forward and the other co-sponsors and david campos in his leadership in challenging the draconian program in addition to grass-roots organizations represented today and to sheriff mirkarimi and carrying on the tradition and show solidity with these communities and for due process and equal protection rights. for the asian and pacific islander rights we will hear from professor bill hing and others showing that asian and pacific islander communities, especially chinese community recess fearful of the police at times and make the communities less safe but with ordinances
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like the due process one being put forward today it will make the communities safer and ensuring that due process and equal protection is respected for these communities. i also want to say on a national level besides the grass-roots organizations and chinese for affirmative action and groups like the asian pacific womens' forum, and the justice center at the national level. also advancing asian center for advancing justice, south asian americans leading together or salt, the japanese american citizen's league which has often raised parallels with the racial filing with this program with the internment of japanese americans during world war ii and korean americans consortium and asian pacific urban alliance
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[inaudible] and others have joined with our local groups to demand due process for all as well. i want wanted to mention quickly and i know some of the speakers may mention this and the issue of tearing families apart and fear of police if they're acting as immigration agents is a real one in the community. i think last week a chinese woman came to the alc clinic and saying her house was raidd and there were other cases from here to san diego as well so the 1.6 undocumented asian pacific islander immigrants and undocumented asians here in san francisco will benefit by a due process for all ordinance so i am strongly supportive of this and thank the grass-roots organizations for united and in addition to the domestic violence organizations and to
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show that san francisco respects due process and equal rights and protection for everyone including immigrants. >> great. thank you supervisor mar and i want to say that we were joined by supervisor jane kim. >> thank you for your leadership on this incredible policy. as many folks know because many of the folks and advocates fought to ensure this. our city is a leader in these policies thatup hold equality and fairness and this seeks out immigrants or ones that are perceived for the criminal justice system. this makes the community less safe and waste the prerks resources that we need to make our neighborhood safer. we know that immigrants seek barriers when seeking help from law enforcement and
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because of language barriers and the fear how they might be treated if they come forward because of the immigration status. in district 6 which is the tenderloin, south of market and treasure island a third are foreign born and half speak a language other than english. in the neighborhoods we have been able to establish strong direct open communications with the law enforcement leaders whether it's the captain in the tenderloin or the southern police station or commander gar etfrom sfpd. they have worked incredibly hard everyday to come to the community, go the events, the residential meetings and respond to emails immediately and host dinners to build the foundation of trust. this is how we build safer and secure neighborhoods into the communities. this program cuts into that trust and creates a barrier between the community and first responders
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and the police which we don't need and residents afraid of the potential consequences because of the interaction with police. we know it means less reporting of crimes or serve as witnesses or get involved in neighborhood watch programs which we are trying to form in the tenderloin. crimes involving domestic violence and sexual assault and forced labor are not really reported and the lasted thing we need to do is prevent imgrinltds getting help with this activity and we need to build trust with the communities and the local police. that will truly keepus safe. we need to follow cities like santa clara and stand up to this program and don't make the area safer and thank you very much.
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>> thank you. supervisor kim. i am going to make brief comments so we can get to some of the presentations and comments that we have here. we do have an over flow room. it's room 263 so if you're not able to find a seat in this room and we hope that you find enough space so you don't have to go there but please go to room 263. i want to begin by thanking supervisor avalos and his staff for the work they're doing on had very important piece of legislation. having worked on the legislation involving due process for undocumented youth i can tell you anytime that you take on something involving immigration and involving the rights of immigrants and people generally there is a segment of the population in other parts of the country that target you so i know it's not easy to do this kind of work so i want to thank you supervisor avalos, raquel from your office for the leadership on taking on this
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issue. it's not easy and i want to thank the diverse coalition and if you look around the room and see who is sitting here this say reflection of the amazing diversity that we have in the city and county of san francisco and people from all groups, all sexual orientations and all groups and the domestic violence community and you name it and the transgender community and they're all representing and that is because of the work done by supervisor avalos and his staff but let me make a couple points about this, and this is a very personal issue for me because i came to this country and brought by my parents as an undocumented child, and i know one of the things that is really important as an immigrant and especially as an undocumented immigrant the ability to approach and talk to the police department, and i will tell you that if you are undocumented
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there's always the fear that you somehow contact a government official, and in this case a law enforcement official, whether it's a police officer, a sheriff, there's always a fear that person could turn you around and report you to immigration and because of that there is a hesitancy on the part of many undocumented immigrants to reach out to the police department, to law enforcement. as chief bratton who is chief of l.a. pd used to say the reason why not cooperating with immigration is important for local law enforcement is that not cooperating helps you build that trust. if the communities that you're working with know that you have no connection to the immigration system they are more likely to come to you, and actually report where they have been victims of crime or witnesses to crime, and there
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are many examples where very violent crimes throughout this country, including san francisco and l.a. those crimes have been solved because undocumented folks who were witnesses to the crimes felt free and comfortable to come forward and report those crimes, and because those crimes were reported the perpetrators were caught catching them are something that made the entirety of the neighborhoods safer. that's why if you're documented or not you have a vested interest making sure that the undocumented community has that trust with the police department and that's why this legislation is so critical. it really is about ensuring the public safety of our entire city and of every neighborhood in this city. there's also been discussion and talk about well maybe we should do carve outs, maybe we should have some
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exceptions to the legislation like this and we have a system and depending on the grave itd of the system and the charge the system decides whether you can be released or not released and it is through that system that we should address any issues around public safety to the extent there is any concern around that. if you don't think that the criminal justice system is handling certain crimes in the proper fashion then let's amend the laws that govern that system but to do that through the immigration process in the end is counter productive because it actually creates a divide between the communities served by law enforcement and the police and law enforcement that actually need to be communicating and hearing from those communities. that's why i think the idea and the discussion of a carve out is something that is focusing on the wrong system to deal with issues of public safety.
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public safety actually necessitates that any issue with carve outs dealt with the criminal justice system, not immigration. that is the important distinction to be made. there are important considerations as to what type of individual should be or not be released. let's deal with those issues in the criminal justice system and not the immigration system and that has to be very, very clear because at the end of the day what we're talking about with this legislation is public safety being the top priority, and public safety requires and dictates that people feel comfortable coming to the police so i want to thank you supervisor avalos for your leadership. i know that we're going to hear from a number of people. i see sheriff mirkarimi, from the former board of supervisors is here and i will turn it over to you. >> thank you for your support. we talked early on about talking about this and i want to thank
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you and your office with help putting this together. we have -- one of the speakers has to leave soon so i wanted to call professor bill hingin who is the chair of the commission to come and talk about the ordinance. mr. ying the podium is yours. >> thank you. i want to thank you for your courageous proposal and the members of the board that co-sponsz ared this very important ordinance. please keep in mind my specific comments today cannot be contributed to the commission because we have not discussed this specific proposal. however, in our report in march we did endorse the passage of a local trust like ordinance so hopefully we will have this ordinance before us shortly. by way of background my interest, like the interest of many of you in ice policy stems from the
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abuse of the program implemented by ice and you have all eloquently discussed. as a result of the fingerprint trigger requests local officials detain certain individuals for ice and many individuals who are not threats to public safety are detaind and deported. that's one of my interest. the other interest that drives me here is having a strong commitment to san francisco saincht area ordinance. the inclusive for the philosophy that under scores the ordinance sets san francisco apart from many parts of the country. as you know in order to provide public safety for all law enforcement must have the trust of every part of the community. if immigrants perceive enforcement partnership between ice and local officials the needed trust from the immigrant community is eroded. with that background your proposal represents the strongest possible statement
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against s-com and in favor of our sanctuary ordinance. it represents the clearest delineation between ice and local officials, simply leaving the job of federal immigration enforcement to ice officials as it should be. in other words, given how the program works once fingerprint trigger ice interest in the suspect then let ice deal with the person without local law enforcement voluntarily participating in the federal enforcement function. my understanding that is at its heart your proposal allows the criminal justice system to operate on its own. a new arrestee with a prior conviction even presumably has fulfilled the conditions of the prior conviction. in the case of someone convicted of a very serious crime that person has likely been to state or federal prison and served their time. if the person is arrested for a
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new offense your proposal relies on the criminal justice system to determine whether or not they remain in local custody. in other words given the person's record and new allegeds the criminal court and other law enforcement policies would determine whether the person should be released or eligible for bail. as you alluded to in your opening statement we're in the middle of major national immigration reform debate. unfortunately the prospects of that reform are getting dimmer and dimmer. at the same time because of that the prospects for greater ice enforcement is looming and it's for that reason that your proposal is something that i fully endorse without reservation. thank you very much. >> thank you very much mr. ying. thank you. so we look forward to the immigrant rights commission collaborating on this on the 17th. next up i would like to call up our sheriff,
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sheriff ross mirkarimi. welcome. >> thank you supervisor avalos, supervisor campos, supervisor mar. it is a pleasure to join you here today. i am more than happy to answer any questions. i would like to open by acknowledging my predecessor sheriff mike hennessy and as sheriff for over three decades was bold enough to call attention to the flaws of the secure communities ice detainer system in 2011. it garnered state, national and international attention because it was was rare for a elected sheriff to highlight the discrepancies in the ice
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detainer system. still in 2011 the san francisco sheriff's department had detained and people were transferred to ice were in the numbers of over 600 people. because i think what the sheriff enditioned was implementing an approach that would begin to get to the direction that we are here today. when i came into office and when i was able to craft an internal policy that would seriously build upon, and we had considerably so on what was started by sheriff mike hennessy, and we have seen a drop in these detainers by a sheriff initiated policy which happens to be the most progressive for lack of better phrasing, sheriff initiated policy in the united states, a drop of ice detainers by over 60%, and i believe that works
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in tandem i think with the goals and philosophy of san francisco city leaders and laws that were passed that we arrive at a place where we keep public safety of paramount concern for all members of the local criminal justice system, city hall, and of course public, but be aware that civil immigration detainers really do not have a place in our municipal criminal justice system, and that we are not here to be able to effectively or thoroughly render opinion on the question of criminal -- on the criminal justice process that is commingled with ice civil detainers so we support the legislation. we welcome the institutional support that is
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being contemplated in advance by the board of supervisors, and believe that looking at the policies of santa clara county and cook county, chicago, and how their respective local governments were able then to work with their sheriff's department. we have been watching very carefully to see what the consequences of that legislative advance really has resulted into, and it's been instructive and informative and i think helps validate and affirm the position that we are here today. i am more than happy to answer any questions. >> thank you. [applause] i would like to ask you your current policy how it differs from what is in the ordinance or how does the ordinance differ from the current policy? and what do you see in place in san francisco that enables us to be successful in implementing a process that extends due process for everyone?
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>> again from our perspective it is keeping public safety of paramount concern, and being able to i being create the synergy between public safety and public trust, and as sheriff that's a fine pirouette that we are walking and internally from the previously policy that was implemented by sheriff mike hennessy and an interim sheriff as well, it was for all intensive propers fairly broad policy. an example in 2011 really only 24 people were held back in the entire year from not being handed over to ice, and because that there was in 2011 a policy of two misdemeanors convictions and/or a felony conviction that formerly
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incarcerated person would be candidate for ice detainment. in 2013, today, we can hold back 24 people in one week, not one year, from not being advanced to ice because of the policy i put into place and our staff so effectively and professionally has moved to get us to this place is that there would be nobody handed over with the exception of a serious violent felony that would not be turned over, and as sheriff unilaterally i feel that i can take that latitude and do so while maintaining my obligation to the question of public safety, and still doing our homework in recognizing other advances by other counties looking to see would we be really making a stretch if we didn't go -- if we were able then to go to a no ice detainer
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policy. even recently i went to chicago to cook county to have this discussion, in-depth discussion, with the third largest city in the criminal justice system in the united states so that we could really do our due diligence and i want to make sure we're completely tight in what we're contemplating here, and i have come back believing that the example helps affirm our position that we're moving in a direction that can be supported. >> great. thank you very much. it's really great to have your support for the ord naps as it is, as currently written and i really want to acknowledge your work and your department and staff in your department to really build on what sheriff hennessy did to limit deportations or limit people being turned over to ice and we seen that number of people diminish as you said. i think that is great courage for you and your department. i want to thank you for that and we encourage you to stay and
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continue to be here for this hearing and look forward to working with you and collaborating with you moving forward with this legislation. >> thank you very much. thank you. >> we would like to call up the next speaker. i believe we have the chief of police here, mr. chief greg suhr. welcome. >> good afternoon. i also support the ordinance. although i ask that the policy that the sheriff's department has and they have an exception for serious convicted violent offenders, sex offenders and weapon possessors is in the best interest of san francisco. as a young guy i voted for the sainchtary city and supported it wholeheartedly and one of the first chiefs in california to endorse the trust act that was vetoed. when asked to endorse
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the second trust act again i was one of the first police police chiefs in san francisco to do so but the curve out i believe is in the best interest of san francisco is also in that trust act. again this is not to say that every convicted violent offender or sex offender or weapon possessor is detained. this leaves the discretion to the sheriff and that was the policy. it was applauded as being courageous and hang on to the people that are a serious danger to san francisco and i think to remove all discretion -- your parents teach you never say never and always say always and i think that is the smart thing to do to leave it in the sheriff's department and it's policy and we don't require status when we speak to someone outside. it's against policy want there is no latitude there
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with the officers. however, we do encounter folks who are dangerous and been afforded due process and been convicted of a felony or weapons possession and documented or undocumented and we're better in san francisco without such folks continuing to commit other offenses so i would respectively request and being in full support of the remainder of the ordinance that if an amendment could be added to allow the discretion to remain with those three categories with the sheriff to report as appropriate that would be the police department's position on it and mine personally. >> thank you. i really appreciate your being here and telling us the police department's position. we had discussed this matter earlier in my office, and one of the things that the drafter of the
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ordinance and in the community and myself had been anticipating that there would be a request for carve outs and that was something that you and i discussed, and at that time you said you didn't -- you weren't going to be pursuing those. now you have, and i just wanted to acknowledge that that conversation did happen, and i understand that that things evolve. i believe there are actually is policy and politics that are part of this and i think the politics have gotten involved in terms how we look forward to making -- some people in city government looking to amendments happening that includes carve outs. the basis of this ordinance is about the due process that should be extended to everybody against the arbitrary denial of liberty and that due process we would lose by creating exceptions. we would actually be creating the ability to not fulfill what
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this ordinance is truly about so i want to make sure that we are up holding that and i -- while i do understand that there is a push to actually have these carve outs we are designing this ordinance so we're not releasing anyone earlier than when they would be eligible for release. they are only eligible for release when they have done their time so we are letting our justice system work and we don't believe we should hold anyone beyond that time they're eligible for release because of a request that came from ice that doesn't have a stamp approval and oversight like it should be and that's where the due process is denialed and when the requests come forward and it's approved. locally we are doing our work. our department is exemplary in its work up holding the sanctuary city and our whole justice system is doing its work best it can to
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make sure that goes forward but it's when we have the request from the outside we see the due process denied and we want to create that separation between the local criminal justice enforcement and federal law enforcement and that's the basis and why we want this ordinance separate from an amendment with carve outs for people because of offenses. >> i appreciate that. my recollection of the conversation is different as you know. i believe to take the discretion away from the sheriff -- if we want to make it policy or if the sheriff wants to make it policy that's within the sheriff's prerogative but to remove all latitude and san francisco could become a destination