Saturday, October 4, 2008

Federal Grand Jury Investigating SF "Sanctuary" Policy

It seems like San Francisco has been in the immigration news all summer.  here we go again.  The S.F. Chronicle reports that a federal grand jury is investigating whether San Francisco's policy of offering sanctuary to undocumented immigrants violates U.S. laws against harboring people who are in the country illegally, according to city officials. City Attorney Dennis Herrera said his office has hired a criminal defense lawyer to represent employees who might be questioned or asked for documents.

What next?

KJ

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2008/10/federal-grand-j.html

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Comments

The illegal alien slave masters and their enablers want it both ways. State and local governments cannot enforce immigration laws because immigration is federal responsibility, but state and local governments can offer "sanctuary" to illegal immigrants because (and this is what the federal grand jury must investigate).

Posted by: Susan Goya | Oct 4, 2008 9:33:19 AM

It seems to me that the Gavin Newsome should do some jail time.

Posted by: Thomas Lillich | Oct 4, 2008 2:46:40 PM

"What next?"

Perhaps a respect for the rule of law?

Professor Johnson, for a law professor you exhibit a disturbing lack of knowledge of the Supremacy Clause. Here, let me help you out:

"Under the Supremacy Clause, everyone must follow federal law in the face of conflicting state law. It has long been established that "a state statute is void to the extent that it actually conflicts with a valid federal statute" and that a conflict will be found either where compliance with both federal and state law is impossible or where the state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress. Edgar v. Mite Corp., 457 U.S. 624, 631 (1982)."

But perhaps you know all that but choose to ignore it because it doesn't fit your private agenda.

Posted by: peter | Oct 5, 2008 5:23:06 AM

I preface my comment with a reminder that I am not an attorney. However, in my opinion, the key issue here is whether the earlier S.F. policy of flying convicted minor age felons back to their home countries, rather than handing them over to Federal Immigration Authorities, amounts to a willful violation of federal law. It very well might, although the article in question mentions that technically, juvenile proceedings are not criminal proceedings, so I assume that the question could be, does violating a federal non-criminal statute constitute a crime? I would imagine that one could make a very good case that it does. On the other hand, since that S.F. policy has been reversed, how far does that reversal go toward mitigating any previous criminal intent?

However, as to the larger question of intent relating to the entire sanctuary policy, is not the intent of the policy to promote the greater good, in that the policy allows for the safe testimony of undocumented residents to come forward and testify to police and other civil authorities against crimes, injustices, and acts of discrimination, without fear of retribution and/or deportation?

In my opinion, the theory behind this policy amounts to an approximation of the federal, "don't ask, don't tell" policy of the U.S. Military in it's policy regarding homosexuality.

In all truth, the ultimate beneficiary of this policy is the United States Treasury, as well as the state and federal economies. Businesses large and small depend on undocumented labor to survive, and the available products from food to services that result from the fruits of undocumented labor touch all of us on a daily basis. The safe harboring of the continuity of this labor force can not be discounted, as the millions of laborers in question are vital to our economic security.

The economic reality of the benefits of sanctuary policies and the humanitarian benefits of these policies, in my opinion, rises to a greater need that supersedes the need of the federal government to apprehend the non-criminal undocumented residents in those cities. On the other hand, now that S.F. and other sanctuary cities are fully cooperating with I.C.E. in matters of holding criminal aliens until they are delivered to I.C.E. for deportation proceedings, it seems to me that we now have arrived at a happy medium, until such time as the greater question of C.I.R. can be federally administered.

Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Oct 6, 2008 7:32:36 AM

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