Change the Law so Cities Keep Illegal Immigrants Facing Prosecution in Custody

Senator Jeff Stone
California State Senate, 28th District

In the wake of the tragic killing of a young woman in San Francisco last week by a convicted felon who had previously been deported from the United States five times, I submitted legislation that will require all of California’s cities and counties to cooperate fully with Federal immigration authorities – especially when criminals in custody for drug offenses are involved.

The murder of this woman may have been prevented had there been a state law in place to prohibit so-called Sanctuary Cities, like San Francisco, from releasing previously convicted felons who are in the United States illegally. This loss of life very well could have been prevented had the City of San Francisco done what should have been done and not disregarded existing federal laws.  San Francisco’s failure ultimately resulted in her murder.

Authorities have reported that Francisco Sanchez, a repeat drug offender, was turned over to San Francisco authorities in March for drug offenses.  Federal authorities requested they be notified when Sanchez was released in order to deport him.  However, San Francisco officials ignored this request, citing the city’s sanctuary law which prevents city workers from cooperating with Federal immigration authorities.  Shortly after being released by San Francisco authorities, Sanchez allegedly committed murder.

Sanchez, a Mexican immigrant, has admitted shooting the 32-year-old woman.  The media has also reported that Sanchez said he returned to San Francisco several times after being deported because of the sanctuary law the city has in place.

We have seen the tragic results of these callous actions and disregard of the law both in California and other places across the country. Just as no person is above the law, no city should be above it either.

Draft legislation has been submitted to Legislative Counsel that would require prisoners in custody who are identified by the Federal Government as being in the country illegally be held for 48 hours in order to give Immigration and Customs Enforcement time to determine whether or not deportation or federal prosecution is appropriate.

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