The interim mayor of San Francisco, Mark Farrell, announced on Thursday that the city will pay for legal representation for any immigrant that the Trump administration tries to deport.
It was just Thursday that ICE announced the arrest of 232 illegal immigrants in Northern California over a four day period.
Farrell spoke to the media at Carecen, an immigrant rights organization in the Mission District, alongside Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer and Supervisor Hillary Ronen. He said his goal is to make sure every single immigrant that the Trump administration tries to deport has legal representation in immigration court.
“We are in unprecedented territory here,” Farrell said. “He is targeting our immigrant community, here in San Francisco. We’re not going to stand for that.”
Farrell is partnering with Assemblyman Phil Ting to advocate for $7 million in state funding. The city will spend an additional $3.5 million annually on legal defense services. That means the total annual amount will be $11.1 million, a 236-percent increase from spending levels two years prior.
“It’s great to see that the $45 million allocated in last year’s state budget strengthened legal services for immigrants throughout our state,” said Ting. “I know the need continues to be great, and I look forward to the City’s input as we put together another state spending plan in the coming months.”
“If we don’t stand behind them, nobody will,” Farrell said. “It’s not only the right thing to do, it is the San Francisco thing to do.”
In Oakland, California, Mayor Libby Schaaf has created her own stir. Schaaf continues to receive backlash, most recently from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“I think it’s outrageous that a mayor would circumvent federal authorities and certainly put them in danger by making a move such as that,” Sanders said. “It’s currently under review by the Department of Justice.”
A statement from Schaaf’s office said, “The Mayor’s office is not aware of a review.”
Some have said Schaaf obstructed justice as described in a letter sent to the US Attorney’s Office and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. It was written by Ronald Cohen of Fremont, Amin Salkhi of Alamo, and Brendan St. John of Pleasanton.
“I just don’t understand the rationale behind protecting illegal aliens that have committed crimes and putting ICE agents at risk,” Salkhi said. “It just doesn’t make sense for a state, city, or local jurisdiction to pick and choose what laws they want to follow.”
Salkhi and his family came to the U.S. legally as Iranian citizens. It took 8 years for his family to gain legal status, and now he owns and operates several gas station franchises across the Bay Area.
“For people to just bypass the rules and get ahead, it’s just not right,” he said.
What do you think about the stand San Fransisco and Oakland have taken?
Credit: Fox KTVU