San Francisco sheriff's deputies allowed to assist ICE | Brent Begin | Local | San Francisco Examiner: "San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey will begin releasing illegal immigrants suspected of low-level crimes instead of turning them over to federal authorities starting today, but individual sheriff’s deputies may be under no obligation to follow that policy. ...
Under Hennessey’s new policy, illegal immigrants arrested for low-level crimes such as shoplifting, drug possession and public drunkenness won’t be held in jail, even if federal immigration agents request that they be detained for immigration proceedings. The move has drawn criticism from opponents of illegal immigration and ICE, which has called Hennessey’s policy “unfortunate.”
Hennessey has said the change in policy is a way for San Francisco’s jails to comply with The City’s sanctuary ordinance, which prohibits local officials from cooperating with federal authorities except in the case of suspected felons.
For years, Hennessey had a policy to report suspected felons to ICE, but not illegal immigrants suspected of misdemeanors. After the implementation of a federal fingerprinting program called Secure Communities in June 2010, however, all information is now automatically sent to ICE on any illegal immigrant that is booked in county jail."
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