Immigrant groups urge Atty. Gen. Brown to declare new fingerprint law 'an outrage'

Gubernatorial candidate earlier ruled California would comply with federal mandate

Immigrant rights groups stirred by opposition to Arizona's new immigration law turned their attention Thursday to a federal program newly begun in San Francisco that they say is terrorizing their community.

Dozens rallied outside San Francisco's state building Thursday morning, expressing their displeasure at a recent decision by Attorney General Jerry Brown to reject the San Francisco sheriff's request to opt out of the Secure Communities program.

Brown, who is now also the Democratic candidate for governor of California, told Sheriff Michael Hennessey in late May that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Secure Communities program "serves both public safety and the interest of justice."

The program, which is being implemented nationwide and started in San Francisco June 8, allows for the fingerprints of anyone booked into jail after an arrest to be shared with ICE's federal database to help determine if they are in the country illegally.

"Because of these programs we've seen many deportations," said Guillermina Castellanos, director of a women's program at La Raza Centro Legal, a community law center working on behalf of the immigrant community.

Castellanos spoke in Spanish to the assembled crowd, who were waving signs and chanting.

"We don't want our children to suffer being separated from their families," she said. "Here in this city, it is right that we not be terrorized."

State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a former San Francisco supervisor, also spoke at the rally.

"We need Jerry Brown to be governor, and I support him, but we also need to remind him of his moral responsibility to this issue," Ammiano said. "We need him to say that this program is an outrage."

Though ICE officials have said Secure Communities helps them identify and deport violent criminals, less serious offenders are also being deported, ICE statistics have shown.

Sheriff Michael Hennessey opposes the program, saying it conflicts with San Francisco's sanctuary city ordinance that shields undocumented immigrants accused of minor crimes

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Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm

"Because of these programs we've seen many deportations"

Which seems to imply the the programs are working.
I have lived and worked in a number of countries, none of which turned a blind eye to violations of their immigration laws.

Ms. Castellanos' reasoning seems to be that physical presence in the United States nullifies culpability for any illegality associated with it. If you can get here, you can stay here. Following this reasoning, if you get out of the bank with the money, you shouldn't be pursued or punished for robbing it, especially if you are married and have kids.

Ms. Castellanos, how long will the Mexican government allow me to live and work in Mexico without the proper visa?

Like this comment
Posted by Question
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Jul 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm

"San Francisco's sanctuary city ordinance that shields undocumented immigrants accused of minor crimes"

Does that make the City of San Francisco accessory to a crime? It sounds like they're aiding and abetting ILLEGAL immigrants by shielding them. Isn't our Attorney General going to do anything about that?

Like this comment
Posted by not racist
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Yes, A. G. Jerry Brown should do his job. CA law IS TOUGHER than AZ, it's just not enforced...makes it a farce. The AZ judge ruled Sanctuary cities are illegal ! ! ! ...this is America..period !
Everybody who has state licenses like lawyers,teachers, realtors, judges, doctors, pharmicists, contractors,...all have been fingerprinted ! ! ! Did that violate our rights ? ? That's for order in our America. Absolutely all should be fingerprinted.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Web Link did somebody say deportations?

Like this comment
Posted by Spanglish No More
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Illegal is illegal no matter if they committed a crime or not. Oh, isn't entering the counrty illegally a crime??? I liked the comment by Mike in respinse to Ms. Castellanos delusions. The only people that feel terrorized by the finger print law are illegals. If they are so terrorized they should pack up and go home. when they are in the hospital laying their eggs they should not be discharged, they should be deported.

Deportation has become my favorite word.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 2, 2010 at 8:17 am

eat your hearts out mes petites...nobody is gonna go home voluntarily...more are on the way...VIVA!

spanglish for everybody!

my motto: caught today, back tomorrow! tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

Like this comment
Posted by susan
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

If SOMEONE IS HERE ILLEGALLY, it is against the law, SEND THEM HOME. I go to the bank I show my driver license and sometimes a fingerprint is necesarry. WHY SHOULD THE FACT THAT YOUR AN IMMIGRANT BE ANY DIFFERENT?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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