A proposal by Supervisor David Campos to spend $5 million to provide legal representation to immigrants living in the country without documentation who face deportation is the first test of the city’s commitment to its Sanctuary City policy.
Half of the money would go to the Public Defenders office to hire more immigration lawyers.
Fears within immigrant communities have heightened since Donald Trump became president, given his repeated statements about deporting immigrants.
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi has been in the forefront with Campos along with other immigration lawyers to work toward a legal solution. Campos said he is hopeful they’d be able to bring forward a legislation which he hopes to table to the board by December 13th his last meeting as a supervisor before he’s termed out.
In an interview with the news show “60 Minutes,” the President elect said that he will go after two or three million undocumented immigrants who are convicted felons. Experts say that number is exaggerated.
Perhaps even more worrying is the president-elect’s statement that Sanctuary Cities will be stripped of federal funding should they refuse to corporate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. In San Francisco’s case it risks losing up to $1 Billion.
“This is part and parcel of being a sanctuary city, making sure we are prepared for what we know is coming, what the president-elect has said is coming,” said Campos, as he recalled entering country illegally with his family from Guatemala, but is now a U.S. citizen.
“You can’t on the one hand say you’re going to defend sanctuary and then on the other hand not take concrete steps to make that happen.”
If the supes and the mayor can’t find the $5 million for this, it will be a bad sign as the city moves into the Trump Era.