Gray Panthers of San Francisco
March 2007 Newsletter

Immigration and Press Freedom:
No Sanctuary from Feds in San Francisco


A little-known section of the USA Patriot Act is the legal basis for recent raids by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country. Tens of thousands of immigrants have been rounded up in a two-pronged approach to “secure the nation’s borders and step up enforcement from within,” according to ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice. Immigrants rights groups say families are being torn apart and the entire community terrorized. “What we are hearing from the community is that they are arresting anybody and everybody who is within an arm’s length,” Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval told CBS-5. Mayor Gavin Newsom expressed concern about the raids and said “As a sanctuary city, San Francisco is proud to provide services to all its residents, regardless of their immigration status.” Unfortunately for our immigrant residents, the federal government does not appear to recognize local sanctuary status.

Nor do the feds willingly defer to local control of the legal system. Independent journalist Josh Wolf has been held in federal prison since August 1, 2006 for refusing to hand over video footage to a federal grand jury. The footage, some of which was shown on KRON, was of an anti-globalization protest in the Mission district. Local charges against the protestors have been dropped, but Josh Wolf remains in prison. The excuse for federal intervention: Homeland Security funds given to the San Francisco Police Department. As cities and states lobby for federal funds, perhaps they should consider what strings are attached to the packages.

See KPIX Flash Player video: immigration raids in San Francisco, and violations of SF Sancturary law

See KPIX Flash Player video: immigration raids spreading terror among Richmond immigrants

See SF Gray Panther Newsletter article on Feds involvement in Josh Wolf case

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