Sanctuary cities and states offering assistance and protection to illegal aliens and "undocumented workers".Sitemap

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  • Bell Gardens, California

  • Berkeley, California (reported 6/23/09)

  • City of Industry, California

  • City of Commerce, California

  • Coachella, California (considering)

  • Concord, California (reported 8/18/12)

  • Costa Mesa, California (reported 6/14/14)

  • Cypress, California (disputed 7/10/15 by Cyrpress City Manager - see below)

  • Davis, California

  • Diamond Bar, California

  • Downey, California

  • Fresno, California (disputed 7/6/10 - see below)

  • Lakewood, California (7/27/15 -sanctuary status disputed by Bill Grady, Public Information Officer of the City Manager's office)

  • Long Beach, California

  • Los Angeles, California

  • Lynwood, California

  • Maywood, California

  • Montebello, California (disputed 6/28/10, see below)

  • National City, California

  • Norwalk, California

  • Oakland, California

  • Paramount, California

  • Pico Rivera, California

  • Salinas, California

  • San Bernardino California

  • San Diego, California

  • San Francisco, California (1989)

  • San Jose, California

  • Santa Ana, California (reported 6/14/14)

  • Santa Cruz, California

  • Sonoma County, California (2006)

  • South Gate, California

  • Vernon, California

  • Watsonville, California

  • Wilmington, California

  • Citizen of Concord, California suggests city be added to sanctuary list
    You can added Concord, California to list of sanctuary cities. They have a long history of it and local pd have a hands off policy.
    Citizen of Costa Mesa and Santa Ana, California suggests cities be added to sanctuary list
    Comments from Toren, Irvine, CA

    I don't understand why Costa Mesa, and Santa Ana continue to deny that they are not a sanctuary city. How many cases of Human Trafficking, and illegal immigration to they have? The couple who lost their girl named Tara (Tara's Angel, San Juan Capistrano) was missing and the criminal was hiding out in that very city. A man named Joseph was responsible for purchasing a young Asian child from a foreign mother and brought her to live in Costa Mesa: he human trafficked the child for thirty years. how many years does it take to investigate properly. There was news of immigrant slaves kept in Costa Mesa Motel who were running a Sex Trafficking racket, and then the Massage Parlor scandal linking two or more massage fronts off Fair Drive; the very street the police department is located in Costa Mesa. Becoming a 'Rule of Law' city is a tall order for children abused or tortured but Traffickers out of another county coming to the refuge of small cities like this one to hide out is a serious public safety threat. There was another case of a local Mega church in that city who hired a financial felon to handle their books I was reading up on an abuse site established by the sons of one of their pastors, and how the matter was improperly handled for even congregations. Some of it went public and drove a lawsuit that has been engaging others to step forward. When criminals find locations of complacency you better bet pedophiles and criminals of every influence will find it a safe place. With careful follow up I was able to learn that an Elementary School in that same city had a teacher who was caught engaging in online pornography in a government school. A local paper of the area mentioned that an officer in that city was found out to have placed a tracking device on a woman's car he was infatuated with when she contacted the authorities when she found he was caught on more than one occasion stalking her. These are broad daylight situations there in Orange County. I inquire on this topic of sanctuary city from the perspective of surviving: Parental Abduction, trafficking, and the Immigration Fraud of my captors; out of Los Angeles that eventually found the city to hide out in. Its been twenty-five years and to this date these monsters have not been held accountable for these injuries to myself and others. Somehow reporting is of no use in some cities when their own officers actively engage in color of law violations. Do you know how far back logged certain crimes seem to be? It could very well be that someone from the county is behind the protections for some cities. Security is everybody's concern but so is public safety is sanctuary cities are enlisting the state government for Rule of Law licensing. It is highly controversial that that little city is not listed as a sanctuary city because it most certainly is. I personally know of an International law violation upon a ranking foreigner who found refuge in that city; he was a child of torture out of Riverside which never went public but in the medical journals after his many surgeries. He was an abused child who survived with missing parts but is an adult today!
    City of Cyress City Manager, Peter Grant, disputes Sanctuary Status
    I am emailing you to alert you to inaccurate information on your list of sanctuary cities.
    Cypress, California is listed as a sanctuary city when, in fact, it is not.
    The Cypress City Council has never taken action on this or any immigration issue.
    Please correct the list as soon as possible.
    City of Fresno disputes their sanctuary city status 7/6/10
    "It has been brought to my attention that the City of Fresno is listed on your site as having declared itself a "sanctuary city". This is incorrect information. We would appreciate your help in correcting this. I would be happy to provide information on research that was previously compiled on this topic. Thank you.” Randy Reed, City of Fresno

    Our research shows Fresno and the area relies heavily on illegal immigrants for their agricultural based industries. See article below:

    Illegal immigrants flock to Valley despite risks
    By Chris Collins / The Fresno Bee November 14, 2010

    "When Yrene crossed the border in 1990, the United States had an estimated 3.5 million illegal immigrants. But thanks to lax border control, inconsistent employer enforcement policies and a visa system that allows only a trickle of immigrants each year to come here to work, that number has soared.

    Immigrants — mostly Mexicans — have duped customs agents with fake passports, overstayed their visas, sneaked across the border hidden in cars and trucks, trekked through the scorching Arizona desert or waded across the Rio Grande.

    Until recently, more than half a million immigrants were entering the United States illegally each year — about 50,000 to 100,000 of them pouring into California, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

    Today, Yrene is one of some 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. More than 2.5 million of them are in California, according to estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.

    The San Joaquin Valley is an especially popular destination because of its low cost of living and abundant agriculture jobs, experts say. One estimate by the Urban Institute found that more than 200,000 illegal immigrants were in the Valley in 2004 — although a large number of seasonal workers weren't counted. The vast majority were from Mexico. ” Read more:

    Chris published many related articles under the "In Denial" category. City of Lakewood's Public Information Officer of the City Manager's Office, Bill Grady, disputes Sanctuary Status
    Lakewood, CA is not a Sanctuary City and our city council has never taken any action related to that. There are over a dozen Lakewoods in the United States. Perhaps someone mistook our Lakewood for another one? We would appreciate your removing us from your website as soon as possible. Your website has led to several people incorrectly calling us. We have corrected them, but we don’t like having to indicate that it is your website that is inaccurate.

    City of Montebello disputes their sanctuary city status
    "We are not a sanctuary city - please remove us from your list asap. Thanks, Randy Narramore - City Manager - City of Montebello, CA”

    Editor: We feel obligated to try and back up our data. Things change and are worthy of updating if contacted. I did some quick research on the City of Montebello and found claims of embezzlement, corruption, and numerous problems. Just the day before being contacted by the City, a blog entry was posted at the LA Times:

    "Three men wounded in Montebello shooting
    June 27, 2010 | 4:47 pm

    Three men were wounded early Sunday in Montebello in what police believe was a gang-related shooting.

    The men, ages 20, 26 and 45, were changing a car tire in the 3300 block of West Beverly Boulevard around 1:20 a.m. when a silver-colored vehicle carrying at least two men approached, Montebello Police Lt. Brad Keller said. Shots were fired from inside the vehicle, hitting all three men.

    Two of the victims were taken to local hospitals, while the third was treated at the scene by paramedics and released. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

    The shooters are believed to be gang members, but the victims appeared to have no gang affiliation, Keller said.

    An investigation is ongoing. No other information was given.

    -- Corina Knoll

    Following the crime report was the following response:

    "montebello another sanctuary city for illegal aliens. Crime is an everyday thing with this city."
    "A call to the Berkeley mayor's office they claim to be a "City of Refuge” (since 1971) renewing & revising via resolutions several times since - Most recently in a Berkeley city council resolution of 5/22/07.” Thanks to Robert for reporting this information.
    San Francisco's status as 'sanctuary' criticized after slaying
    By Janie Har and Amy Taxin The Associated Press Jul. 6, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO — The killing of a woman at a sightseeing pier has brought criticism down on this liberal city because the Mexican man under arrest was in the U.S. illegally, had been deported five times and was out on the streets after San Francisco officials disregarded a request from immigration authorities to keep him locked up.

    San Francisco is one of dozens of cities and counties across the country that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The city goes so far as to promote itself as a "sanctuary" for people in the country illegally.

    In a jailhouse interview with a TV station, Francisco Sanchez, the 45-year-old repeat drug offender arrested in the shooting Wednesday of Kathryn Steinle, appeared to confirm that he came to the city because of its status as a sanctuary.

    Prosecutors on Monday charged Sanchez with murder as San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi strongly defended his office's release of Sanchez and pointed the finger back at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    He said the federal agency should have issued an arrest warrant for Sanchez.

    "ICE knew that he had been deported five times," Mirkarimi said. "You would have thought he met a threshold that he required a court order or a warrant. They did not do that."

    The case has prompted a flurry of criticism from ICE officials, politicians and commenters on social media, all of whom portrayed the slaying as a preventable tragedy.

    "Most of the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of the San Francisco sheriff, because his department had custody of him and made the choice to let him go without notifying ICE," said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which wants tougher immigration enforcement.

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, blamed sanctuary practices and the Obama administration, saying: "The tragic murder of Kate Steinle once again underscores the need to end these reckless policies."

    Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement saying city policy was never intended to protect "repeat, serious and violent felons." He asked for federal and local agencies to review what happened.

    California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney who is running for U.S. Senate, cautioned that when it comes to immigration, "our policy should not be informed by our collective outrage about one man's conduct."

    Many other San Francisco politicians stayed quiet as mourners held a late morning vigil at Pier 14 on the downtown waterfront, where the 32-year-old Steinle was gunned down Wednesday, seemingly at random, during an evening stroll with her father and a family friend. She had recently moved to San Francisco.

    While many cities have scaled back cooperation with ICE, few have gone as far as San Francisco.

    For more than two decades, San Francisco has been considered a sanctuary for people in the U.S. illegally.

    The city's sanctuary law prohibits city employees from helping federal authorities with immigration investigations or arrests unless required by law or warrant. That said, the ordinance does not prohibit local law enforcement from informing ICE that they've arrested someone in the country illegally for a felony offense or who has prior felony convictions.

    In 2013, Mirkarimi's office started turning over fewer people under arrest to federal immigration authorities for deportation.

    Mirkarimi on Monday stood behind the city's sanctuary law as a way to fight crime and promote trust. His office routinely ignores such federal immigration requests unless backed by an active warrant. He said ICE was aware of San Francisco's policy.

    Earlier this year, Sanchez was released from federal prison — where he had served a sentence for re-entering the country after deportation — and turned over to the Sheriff's Department on an outstanding drug-related warrant. The San Francisco district attorney's office declined to prosecute what authorities said was a decade-old marijuana possession case, and Sanchez was freed on April 15.

    Before he was set free, ICE had filed a so-called detainer with San Francisco authorities, asking to be informed if they intended to let him go, ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said. But she said ICE was never notified.

    "We're not asking local law enforcement to do our job," she said in a statement. "All we're asking is that they notify us when a serious foreign national criminal offender is being released to the street so we can arrange to take custody."

    In the past 21 months, immigration authorities have issued more than 230,000 detainers, according to ICE. Since January 2014, law enforcement agencies around the country have failed to honor about 17,000 detainers, 61 percent of them in California, ICE said.

    Sanchez has been deported five times, most recently in 2009, and has seven felony convictions, four involving drug charges, according to ICE.

    From jail, Sanchez told a KGO-TV reporter in a mix of Spanish and English that he found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt while sitting on a bench at the pier.

    "So I picked it up and ... it started to fire on its own," Sanchez said, adding that he heard three shots go off.

    Asked if he came to San Francisco because of its sanctuary status, he said yes.

    "I only want to say that if the court wants to find me guilty, I wouldn't get mad," Sanchez said during the interview, in which he appeared confused and spoke incoherently at times.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California supports sanctuary protections, saying people are more willing to cooperate with police if there's no fear of deportation.

    Julia Harumi Mass, a senior staff attorney with the organization, called the details of this case exceptional and put the blame on ICE.

    "It is still unclear why the federal government turned over someone who is known to be deportable to the city of San Francisco, knowing that San Francisco is one of the oldest sanctuary cities in the country," she said.
    Suspect in killing of San Francisco woman had been deported five times
    By Steve Almasy, Pamela Brown and Augie Martin, July 4, 2015 for CNN

    San Francisco (CNN)Kate Steinle was walking on a busy pier in San Francisco with her father when there was a single popping sound in the air.

    She fell to the ground, struck by a bullet, the victim of what police say appears to be a random killing.

    The man accused of firing the deadly shot -- 45-year-old Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez -- is an undocumented immigrant, a repeat felon who has been deported five times to Mexico, according to immigration officials.

    It would have been six, a federal law enforcement source told CNN, except authorities in San Francisco wanted him on a drug-related warrant.

    So U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which had Lopez-Sanchez in its custody in March after his release from federal prison, turned him over to San Francisco deputies. ICE said they requested an immigration detainer, asking that the agency be notified before Lopez-Sanchez was released.

    But San Francisco is a city that doesn't honor such requests and the sheriff's department released him. Freya Horne, chief legal counsel to the San Francisco County Sheriff, told CNN that he was let go because there was no legal cause to detain the suspect.

    On Wednesday evening, he shot the 31-year-old Steinle at Pier 14 once in her upper body, according to police. He was found about a mile away an hour later and arrested. CNN could not determine on Friday if he has an attorney.
    Cypress councilman wants to support Arizona
    By for the Orange County Register 6/7/10

    CYPRESS - City Councilman Phil Luebben wants his fellow councilmen to pass a resolution condemning boycotts of Arizona businesses, making Cypress the latest city to join the debate about Arizona's immigration law.

    Luebben has announced he will introduce his resolution at the city's next council meeting on June 14.

    The proposed resolution criticizes Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Ana and other California cities for opposing the Arizona law and promoting boycotts against Arizona.

    The text of the resolution avoids a direct stand on the controversial Arizona law, though it does note "the city of Cypress understands Arizona's frustration and supports its efforts to try and address the negative impacts that illegal immigration has had on that state."
    Immigration activists plan May Day rallies
    By Teresa Watanabe May 1, 2009 for the LA Times

    Tens of thousands are expected to protest for reform, such as legalization, though policy differences push groups to separate their events into seven marches. Four will be held in downtown L.A.

    Buoyed by perceptions of a bright political climate for immigration reform, thousands of activists plan to rally today in Los Angeles and nationally for migrant and labor rights.

    But even as President Obama, a Democratic Congress and many immigrant activists agree on the major outlines of a reform package, some Southern California activists say differences among them have shattered previous unity and resulted in plans to field separate marches.
    Schwarzenegger says illegal immigrants aren't to blame for fiscal crisis
    By Evan Halper for the LA Times April 16, 2009

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday that the claim by some conservative activists that illegal immigration is to blame for all of the state's fiscal problems is ignorant and bigoted.

    The governor made his comments during a public forum at The Times building in downtown Los Angeles, where he expressed frustration with anti-tax organizations and others seeking to derail a package of ballot measures that will come before voters in a May 19 special election. Schwarzenegger and lawmakers placed the measures on the ballot as part of the budget agreement they reached in February.
    Budget crunch cuts illegal immigrants' health care
    Mar 15, 2009 By JULIANA BARBASSA, AP

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Map, News) - Graciela Barrios, an undocumented immigrant with few resources, has long relied on the county health clinic for the advice, medication and tests that have kept her diabetes under control.

    But next month, Barrios and thousands like her will be on their own, and many more people across the nation face the same fate.

    Bowing to recession-related budget pressures, Sacramento County recently took the drastic step of cutting non-emergency health services for illegal immigrants. Contra Costa County, on the east side of San Francisco Bay, will vote on a similar measure Tuesday.

    Local health systems in other states are facing similar decisions as health officials find themselves trapped between dwindling federal, state and local funding streams and the growing number of newly uninsured who need services.
    Police arrest man in immigrant smuggling case
    by Meghan Moravcik Walbert - Mar. 13, 2009 The Arizona Republic

    Surprise Police arrested a man who admitted to attempting to smuggle seven undocumented immigrants through Surprise and into California for pay.

    Fernando Diaz, 40, of Phoenix, was pulled over just before 6 p.m. on Thursday for a traffic violation while driving a mini-van near U.S. 60 and Patton Road. Police observed that some of the adult passengers were in their seats, and others were lying across the floor of the van, said Sgt. Mark Ortega, a Surprise Police spokesman
    LAX worker gets 3 years for immigrant smuggling
    By Anna Gorman, February 25, 2009

    Longtime elevator mechanic Roberto Amaya Canchola, 54, was caught on surveillance video guiding passengers from Mexico to bypass federal inspectors. He admits receiving payment.
    Driver arrested in crash that killed 6 immigrants
    AP, July 21, 2008

    BRAWLEY, Calif.—A Mexican citizen accused of driving more than 20 illegal immigrants in a vehicle that plunged into a canal, killing six of them, has been arrested on suspicion of smuggling, federal authorities said Monday.
    Santa Clara County Supes React to ICE Raids
    South Bay, July 19, 2008

    On the heels of the largest and most aggressive immigration raids in northern California to date, Santa Clara County supervisors voted to oppose a federal immigration measure that they say would affect all workers adversely. Provisions in the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act of 2007 (H.R.4088) would expand an electronic verification system that Santa Clara County supervisors say would adversely affect all workers. "The SAVE Act's punitive approach fails to fix our larger immigration problems," Supervisor Blanca Alvarado said. "Hopefully next year Congress and the administration will do what's really necessary; take more concrete, positive steps toward comprehensive immigration reform."
    U.S.-born children feel effects of immigration raids
    By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, June 8, 2008

    Yesenia Rangel, 12, looked out her window on a Friday morning in February and saw several officers with the letters "ICE" on their sleeves.

    Yesenia immediately called her neighbors to warn them that immigration officers were outside their Compton apartment building. Then she watched in tears as officers handcuffed her father and took him away.

    "I thought, 'I'm never going to see my dad again,' " said Yesenia, a U.S. citizen by birth.

    As federal authorities expand immigration enforcement in California and throughout the nation, teachers, mental health professionals and immigrant rights advocates are raising concerns about the effect on children like Yesenia who are U.S. citizens.
    REGION: California bucks immigration enforcement trend - Other states seeking to curb higher education benefits
    By EDWARD SIFUENTES - Staff Writer | Saturday, June 7, 2008

    While other states move away from giving illegal immigrant college students state benefits, the California Legislature appears to be pushing to give them more access to colleges and universities.

    Last month, North Carolina's community college system said it would no longer admit illegal immigrants. But in California, where illegal immigrants are allowed to enroll in state colleges, some lawmakers are backing a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to qualify for state financial aid and fee waivers.

    An estimated 65,000 illegal immigrants graduate from U.S. high schools each year and could potentially attend college, according to a study by the Urban Institute, a Washington-based economic and social policy research organization. Those students often are at the forefront of the nation's debate over immigration reform.

    Some see the students as a burden on the state's strained resources. Others see them as victims of the nation's broken immigration system.
    Settlement reached in jail crowding suit
    By Greg Moran UNION-TRIBUNE, June 5, 2008

    A class-action lawsuit alleging chronic overcrowding at an immigration jail in Otay Mesa was settled yesterday.

    The lawsuit said the overcrowding at the facility, run by Corrections Corp. of America for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, subjected immigration violators to health and safety risks. It also alleged the conditions violated due-process rights under the Constitution. Before the suit was filed in January 2007, the jail was so overcrowded it was “triple celling” hundreds of detainees, the suit alleged. That involved putting three people into cells designed for two, with the third sleeping on the cell floor in a plastic shell or “boat.”

    The facility housed 1,000 people at one point. After the suit was filed, federal authorities moved out more than 100 inmates, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the facility now holds no more than 700 people.

    Williams wary of immigration trouble after cannery raid
    By Susan Ferriss for the Sacromento Bee, June 1, 2008

    WILLIAMS – News that federal agents raided a big tomato cannery here six weeks ago hit residents like ketchup splattering on a white shirt.

    Java Stop café owner Carol Ornbaun said that while the agents were hauling boxes of documents out of SK Foods, family and friends were frantically ringing cannery workers' cell phones to see what was up.

    "I also heard," Ornbaun said, "that half the next shift didn't come in."

    The FBI and the Internal Revenue Service have not said why they visited the plant – or SK Foods' headquarters in Monterey or a second cannery the company owns in Lemoore. Warrants used for the April 16 searches have been sealed.

    Company representatives said only that the probe isn't about food quality or food safety. Some in Williams worry that immigration agents will come next.
    Immigration raids provoke frustration
    BY: DAVID CARKHUFF for Register-Pajaronian, May 28, 2008

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in the Bay Area last week that led to the arrest of 25 illegal immigrants, including five in Watsonville and two in Capitola, prompted expressions of outrage from speakers at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
    Concerns about immigration affect attitudes about public spending, UCR study finds
    By DAVID OLSON for The Press-Enterprise, May 28, 2008

    Californians concerned about immigration are less likely to support increases in public spending, early results from a study by a UC Riverside professor emeritus has found.

    Another study found that cities that have seen the biggest jump in immigrant population are most likely to adopt what are described as "restrictionist" immigration policies, even though only a fraction of a percent of U.S. municipalities have approved laws aimed at punishing undocumented immigrants.

    Results from those studies and several others -- some of the findings were preliminary and unpublished -- were presented Wednesday at a forum on immigration-related issues at UC Riverside.
    More than 300 L.A.-area arrests made in crackdown on immigration violations
    By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2008

    In an ongoing push to deport immigration violators, federal officers have arrested more than 300 immigrants in the Los Angeles area in the last three weeks.

    The statewide operation resulted in the arrests of more than 900 immigrants, most of whom committed crimes, ignored deportation orders or returned to the U.S. after being removed, according to federal authorities. Half of those arrested have since been deported to their native countries, authorities said.
    Immigration Officials Arrest 905 in California Sweep
    By REBECCA CATHCART for the New York Times, May 24, 2008

    LOS ANGELES — Federal immigration agents have arrested 905 people in California in the past three weeks after a statewide search for those who had violated orders to leave the country. The operation was the latest in a series of national sweeps by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

    297 Illegal Immigrants Sent to Prison in Federal Push (May 24, 2008) The arrests were the result of collaboration among teams in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco that began on May 5.

    “The focal point of this operation were people who had exhausted all of their due process in the courts,” said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. “They have a final order of removal issued by a U.S. immigration judge, and they’ve failed to depart.”
    Seven county residents arrested in illegal immigration raids
    By isaiah Guzman for the Mercury News, May 22, 2008

    WATSONVILLE -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 25 illegal immigrants throughout the Bay Area Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, including five in Watsonville and two in Capitola, an ICE spokeswoman reported Wednesday.

    A San Francisco-based ICE fugitive operations team arrested illegal immigrants who failed to comply with a court order for deportation, according to Lori Haley, an ICE spokeswoman in Laguna Niguel.

    Six of the people arrested had criminal convictions, said Haley, and three were sexual predators. Haley could not immediately identify those arrested.
    LA welcomes 18,000 new citizens, a city record
    By CHRISTINA HOAG for the AP, May 22, 2008

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Record crowds of immigrants — more than 18,000 in all — took citizenship oaths here Thursday, a showing credited to rising fees, a heated debate over illegal immigration and one of the brand-new Americans raising their hands.

    In becoming a citizen, radio host Eduardo "Piolin" Sotelo was taking the advice he has frequently dispensed on the nation's most popular Spanish-language radio show.
    Football Star's Murder Spurs Immigration Law
    NPR, May 20, 2008

    In March, 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr. was gunned down outside his home in South Central Los Angeles. The man accused in the fatal shooting is alleged gang member Pedro Espinoza, who prosecutors say entered the United States illegally.

    Now, Shaw's family is fighting to pass a measure called "Jamiel's Law." The proposed legislation would allow the Los Angeles police to ask crime suspects about their immigration status.

    For more, Farai Chideya speaks with Jamiel's mother and father, Jamiel Shaw Sr. and Anita Shaw.

    Then, we hear from Fermin Vasquez, a student at California State University, who entered the United States illegally and is now an immigrants' rights activist. Vasquez is president of Students United to Reach Goals in Education.
    Immigration agency plans new family detention centers - The federal ICE, which already runs two such facilities, is taking bids for as many as three more. Critics say detaining families is punitive and unnecessary.
    By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2008

    The federal government is accepting bids for up to three new family detention centers that would house as many as 600 men, women and children fighting deportation cases.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a call for proposals last month and set June 16 as the deadline. New facilities are being considered on both coasts and on the Southwestern border. The agency calls for minimum-security residential facilities that would provide a "least restrictive, nonsecure setting" and provide schooling for children, recreational activities and access to religious services.
    Bakery workers detained in San Diego immigration raid
    By ALLISON HOFFMAN Associated Press Writer, May 15, 2008

    SAN DIEGO—Eighteen employees of a popular French bistro and catering company were arrested Thursday on immigration violations, authorities said.

    It didn't take long for the remaining El Balazo workers to mobilize after the immigration raids.

    True to the taqueria chain's name – the Speedy Bullet – all 11 Bay Area restaurants were up and running just days after agents burst in May 2 and took away 63 employees.

    "They took the whole morning crew," said Irma Sanchez, a cook at El Balazo's busy Haight Street taco shop in San Francisco. She tightened her lips to show she had nothing to add, and resumed breaking green beans for vegetarian burritos.

    From dishwashers to executives, news of the raid on the trendy taquerias has California industries on edge.

    For two decades, since Congress passed the last big immigration overhaul, workplace enforcement has been so rare in California, nobody seems to recall the last time a raid of such magnitude hit an eatery.

    Federal immigration officials confirm they have increased their raids. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its overall arrests – mostly administrative citations for undocumented workers – went up tenfold between 2002 and 2007.
    Do policies prevent police from enforcing immigration on the street? - But some residents wish police would check citizenship when they interact with minor offenders or others in the community.
    By AMY TAXIN for The Orange County Register, May 16, 2008

    Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement got a call from elected officials in Mission Viejo who wanted help cracking down on day laborers they said were a public nuisance.

    Brian DeMore, ICE's acting field office director for detention and removal in Southern California, told officials that federal agents focused on major, not petty crimes. But he suggested that local deputies could cite laborers who caused any trouble on a local violation and book them into the county jail, where their immigration status would be checked by ICE-trained personnel.

    That's precisely what anti-illegal immigration advocates wish law enforcement agencies would do to turn up the heat on illegal immigration. And it's what immigrant rights groups and criminal defense attorneys say amounts to racial profiling and a subtle, if not direct, way to enforce the country's immigration laws on local streets.

    Over the last year, a number of Orange County law enforcement agencies have beefed up cooperation with ICE inside their jails but say their efforts don't reach beyond bars. In the county's biggest cities, police officers are instructed not to ask community members about their immigration status while they're making rounds on patrol, conducting an investigation or citing someone for a traffic ticket or minor crime, according to their police department manuals.
    Bakery workers detained in San Diego immigration raid
    By ALLISON HOFFMAN Associated Press Writer, May 15, 2008

    SAN DIEGO—Eighteen employees of a popular French bistro and catering company were arrested Thursday on immigration violations, authorities said.
    Agents executed a criminal search warrant at the French Gourmet, an institution in San Diego's oceanfront Pacific Beach neighborhood known for its wedding cakes. Workers in chef's whites and floppy toques were searched in a delivery area behind the restaurant before being taken to a different location for questioning.

    All 15 men and three women arrested are suspected illegal immigrants from Mexico, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    The men were taken to an immigration detention facility in San Diego and may be returned to Mexico, ICE said. The women were released on "humanitarian grounds" to care for their children.

    Agents were at the restaurant for about six hours collecting company documents, said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for ICE. No one from company management was arrested.
    Immigration and Gang Violence Propel Crusade
    By JENNIFER STEINHAUER for the NY Times, May 15, 2008

    LOS ANGELES — Jamiel Shaw Sr. never gave much thought to the immigration status of gang members in his South Los Angeles neighborhood. With his military wife deployed to Iraq and two sons to raise, there were football practices to manage, shoes to buy, college applications to consider.

    But in the two months since his older son, Jamiel Jr., was gunned down by a man the police say is a gang member who was here illegally from Mexico, Mr. Shaw has been able to think of little else.

    “I don’t care about illegal people who are working here and taking care of themselves,” Mr. Shaw said. “I just feel I am obligated to target illegal aliens in gangs.”
    Close the border message comes to Susanville
    Lassen County News, May 13, 2008

    May 13, 2008 — Some Americans are staunchly dedicated to keeping illegal aliens and potential terrorists out of the United States.

    Two of those people, Chris Simcox, president of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, and Dan Logue, a Republican candidate for the California Third Assembly District seat, brought the Secure Our Borders Tour to Susanville at noon on Thursday, May 8 in order to raise public awareness about the issue. About 50 local residents attended the town hall meeting at the Commerce Building at the Lassen County Fairgrounds.

    Most of those in attendance seemed to agree with Logue and Simcox that enough is enough.

    As he introduced Simcox, Logue said the budget was an important issue, but stopping the tide of illegal immigration is “an issue crucial to the future of our nation.”
    Sanctuary cities protest ICE actions
    Marilyn Bechtel for the PWW, May 12, 2008

    SAN FRANCISCO — In an outraged response to ICE raids just days after immigrant rights supporters filled the streets on May Day, labor, faith groups, students and community members rallied around the area last week.

    On May 5, hundreds gathered outside the San Francisco headquarters of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to protest the agency’s raids at restaurants operated by El Balazo taqueria chain in several Bay Area cities. During the May 2 raids, 63 workers were detained. Most were released that day pending immigration hearings.
    War on smugglers no pleasure cruise
    By Greg Gross for the UNION-TRIBUNE, May 11, 2008

    The newest battleground between Mexican smugglers and federal agents isn't on the ground. It's on the water. Frustrated by anti-smuggling measures along the U.S.-Mexico border, smugglers increasingly are running up the Pacific coast from Baja California to San Diego County, delivering their cargoes of illegal immigrants, and sometimes narcotics, by the boatload.

    In some ways, it's a throwback to America's Prohibition era, when “rumrunners” tried to outwit or outrun Coast Guard patrols to smuggle in liquor.

    “We believe these are some of the same smuggling organizations that have been out there (along the land border),” said Michael Carney, deputy special agent in charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego.

    “With the land border tightening up, they're now looking to the marine environment.”
    Anti-illegal immigration group wants San Diego highway sign
    By ALLISON HOFFMAN for the AP, May 10, 2008

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — When members of an anti-illegal immigration group offered to sponsor litter cleanup on local roads, they never imagined California officials would offer them an Adopt-a-Highway stretch near a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 5, the main artery carrying illegal migrants north from the U.S.-Mexico border.

    On Friday, lawyers for the San Diego Minutemen told a federal judge that the state had no right to rescind the offer after state legislators complained to the California Department of Transportation. The group asked that its blue Adopt-a-Highway sign be put back where it stood without incident for about six weeks until the agency removed it in January.
    Schools React to Immigration Arrests
    By Riya Bhattacharjee for the Berkeley Daily Planet, May 8, 2008

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents pick-ed up a Berkeley family around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, during what immigration authorities called routine targeted enforcement action, and took all four family members to the Office of Detention and Removal Opera-tions in San Francisco for questioning.

    The family was released later that afternoon but will have to appear in immigration court in the future for a hearing, their lawyer said.

    The incident sparked protest among local immigrant groups and advocates and prompted the Berkeley Unified School District to send out a telephone message advising parents not to panic after rumors started circulating that ICE agents were rounding up students in Berkeley and Oakland schools.
    Sonoma County pulled into immigration ‘sanctuary’ issue - ASSEMBLY BILL AIMED TO PENALIZE AREAS WITH LIBERAL IMMIGRATION POLICY
    by D. Ashley Verrill for the North Bay Business Journal, May 5, 2008

    SONOMA COUNTY – Sonoma County has been included in legislation that would withhold funds from cities and counties with liberal policies toward undocumented workers.

    This February, Assemblyman John Benoit, R-Bermuda Dunes, introduced a bill that could have diverted a share of $7 billion worth in vehicle licensing fees from five communities in the state, including Sonoma County.

    If passed, the bill would have removed funding from those areas identified as “sanctuary locations” by a federal research agency.

    The bill died in committee last month, but the issue likely will appear again in California and federal legislators have hinted at proposing a similar diversion of dollars in a new immigration bill, which representatives are in the process of drafting.

    At the same time, local government officials questioned why Sonoma County is on the list at all since it does not have any such policy on record.

    Last summer, Sonoma City Councilman Ken Brown recommended writing a sanctuary ordinance in the city, but never placed it on any agendas.

    Assemblyman Benoit included Sonoma County on the list of sanctuary communities that would lose funding, sourcing information from a U.S. Congressional Research Services report, an arm of the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C.

    But the specific areas that would lose funding under AB 2601 were not written in the text of the bill and a representative for the assemblyman said the validity of the five named sanctuary locations would have been checked during the hearing process.

    In the Congressional Research Services report “Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement,” the author cites 32 sanctuary locations in the United States, including Sonoma County which it added in 2006.
    Immigration raids at 11 El Balazo restaurants - 63 seized
    By Heather Knight for the San Francisco Chronicle, May 3, 2008

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Friday stormed 11 El Balazo restaurants around the Bay Area, arresting 63 illegal immigrants - and drawing the outrage of immigration advocates who had marched the previous day to call for the legalization of undocumented workers.

    The raids began at 10:30 Friday morning in San Francisco, San Ramon, Lafayette, Concord, Pleasanton and Danville and involved 62 people from Mexico and one from Guatemala.

    Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for the immigration agency, called the arrests "a targeted enforcement action" that is part of a continuing criminal investigation she couldn't discuss further.

    Immigration officials photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed all of those arrested. Ten women and one man were quickly released on humanitarian grounds, including pregnancy and medical concerns, pending future immigration proceedings, Kice said.

    The rest were being processed, and the majority of them were expected to be released under supervision. Some of the illegal immigrants had prior criminal convictions or deportation orders and will be detained.
    ICE raided at least 2 El Balazo locations
    By bucanero for IndyBay, May 2, 2008

    It appears today at least 2 locations of EL Balazo restaurant were raided by ICE agents. Witnesses on Haight Street in San Francisco reported up to 15 agents were involved in the raid around 10 AM May 2nd 2008. Simultaneously in Pleasanton apparently there was a raid as well, witness by an ICE supporter:

    So far I haven't seen any corporate media accounts as of 5:50 PM. Univision Channel 14 was there later, perhaps some details soon.

    In light of: SF Ordinance #080532 and yesterday's demonstrations [Proclaiming May 1, 2008 to be International Workers' Day, affirming San Francisco as a Sanctuary City, and urging the Congress of the United States to repeal the REAL ID Act of 2005] Resolution proclaiming May 1, 2008 to be International Workers' Day, affirming San Francisco as a Sanctuary City, and urging the Congress of the United States to repeal the REAL ID Act of 2005. Supervisors Sandoval, Ammiano presented.REFERRED FOR ADOPTION WITHOUT COMMITTEE REFERENCE AGENDA AT THE NEXT BOARD MEETING.

    Again agents appear to be deliberately acting as rogue federal enforcement from the current administration and have no use for sanctuary cities.
    Peaceful rallies held for, vs. immigration
    By Leslie Berestein for the UNION-TRIBUNE, May 1, 2008

    SAN DIEGO – People on both sides of the immigration debate rallied yesterday in relatively small and peaceful gatherings, with one side pushing for recognition of immigrant rights and the other accusing Mexico's government of aggravating immigration problems in the United States.

    The largest event was a march from San Diego City College to Pantoja Park downtown. The pro-immigration event, held for the second year at the college, attracted a few hundred demonstrators. It was part of a series of rallies nationwide to commemorate a nationwide boycott of work, schools and businesses held two years ago in support of pro-immigration legislative change. In California, there were gatherings in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles, where police estimated the crowd reached a peak of 8,500.

    Some of the pro-immigration marchers in San Diego said they sought to push for legislative changes that have stalled. Others decried continuing border deaths and policies they said contribute to such issues as the growing number of immigrants in detention.
    Woman accused in immigration fraud ring
    Daily News Wire Services, April 30, 2008

    A Montebello woman accused of bilking clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through an alleged large-scale immigration fraud ring is scheduled to be arraigned today.

    Romina Zadorian, 38, remained jailed after being taken into custody Monday by investigators from the District Attorney's Bureau of Investigation in connection with 46 counts of grand theft of personal property, four counts of forgery and one count of identity theft.

    Zadorian allegedly told clients she could help them get U.S. residency, citizenship and work permits
    114 LA workers file complaints over immigration raid
    AP, April 26, 2008

    LOS ANGELES — More than 100 employees of a Los Angeles printer supply manufacturer say they were illegally detained during a February raid by federal immigration agents.

    Authorities say 138 people were arrested Feb. 7 at Micro Solutions Enterprises for immigration violations and other crimes.

    But 114 other workers there filed complaints this week seeking $5,000 apiece. Those workers all are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and claim armed federal agents shouted at them to show proof of legal U.S. residency during the four-hour raid.

    A statement released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the search was conducted properly.

    The complaints were filed with ICE and the Department of Homeland Security.
    Hundreds riot at LA detention center for illegal immigrants
    AP, April 23, 2008

    LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation rioted at a county-run detention center and had to be subdued with tear gas, authorities said Wednesday.

    The riot Tuesday started as a fight between detainees from rival gangs and spread to the detention center's outdoor yard, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Nearby sheriff's stations sent additional deputies to separate the detainees. The brawl was diffused "within minutes" after tear gas was used, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

    Fights among incarcerated gang members periodically break out at state jails, prisons and immigrant detention facilities, sometimes sparking riots.

    The federal Department of Homeland Security contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to staff and manage the Mira Loma Detention Center in Lancaster, which holds about 900 detainees who are in the process of being deported or awaiting resolution of their cases in immigration courts.

    Ten detainees were treated for injuries, including two who suffered serious head injuries.

    Sheriff's officials will evaluate how Mira Loma guards separate detainees based on gang affiliation, Whitmore said. About 45 detainees involved in the riot have been identified as suspected gang members and moved to other federal facilities.
    Immigration Law Experts Providing Information on New Bills in 2008
    By Mike Cheslar for Immigration Law Help, April 19, 2008, a Web site that offers information about legal immigration, is providing facts and advice about the plethora of immigration bills proposed this year.

    Carlsbad, CA (PRWEB) April 19, 2008 -- Lawmakers around the country have been busy proposing hundreds of immigration bills so far in 2008, and it's not even three months into the year yet. The current immigration law can be confusing and intimidating for the average person. This is why the Immigration Law Help Web site is offering information and advice about immigration issues and the constantly changing laws.

    One thing that the team of experts at Immigration Law Help wants people to know is that even though hundreds of bills are being proposed, not every immigration bill will become law. In fact, the cost and public opposition will more than likely keep most of these hundreds of bills from becoming immigration law. Many of these bills will become immigration law, but they will not go into affect until next year.

    Many of the bills being introduced are similar to an Oklahoma immigration bill that passed last May, which restricts illegal immigrants' access to driver's licenses and other IDs, limits public benefits and penalizes employers who hire them. These bills also enhance relations between local police and federal immigration authorities. Many other immigration issues are being brought up in state legislatures. More than 350 immigration-related proposals have been unveiled in the first two months of this year, according to The Associated Press.

    There are sure to be more bills proposed as the year continues, and some of them will undoubtedly become immigration law. Whatever happens, Immigration Law Help will be available to offer information and advice about all kinds of immigration issues.
    Immigration: Mexicans who want Mexicans to stay home
    By Jesus Sanchez for the Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2008

    The cash and stories of a better life that many Mexican migrant workers send back home often entice many of their relatives and friends to join the northward migration. But, Centelia Maldonado, an activist from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, wants to explore the other side of that story: the one about the dangerous border crossings, back -breaking work and, recently, the shrinking number of jobs.

    That is why earlier this week she and a group of other activists arrived in San Diego to speak to Oaxacan laborers about their day-to-day struggle north of the border, said the North County Times. The goal is to spread the other side of the migrant story as part of an effort to expand jobs and businesses in culturally-rich but impoverished Oaxaca.

    "We want to let people know the suffering people go through and to look for alternatives" to migration, Maldonado said.
    State committee rejects sanctuary bill - Cities will not lose funds for harboring illegal immigrants
    By Jake Henshaw for the Desert Sun , April 18, 2008

    State lawmakers this week decided California cities shouldn't lose state funds for offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

    The Assembly Local Government Committee, on a party-line vote, killed a bill Wednesday that would have withheld vehicle license fees from local governments that adopt a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it comes to identifying and reporting illegal immigrants to federal authorities.

    Instead the bill by Assemblyman John J. Benoit, R-Bermuda Dunes, would have directed a sanctuary city's share of the $7 billion in local VLF fees to communities working with federal officials on immigration law enforcement.

    "AB 2601 is a common sense measure that is necessary to ensure that the governments throughout California uphold and protect the rule of law," Benoit said. "If those laws are being undermined by certain cities, we should not tolerate that in California."

    Opponents argued the bill could undermine local law enforcement relations with immigrant communities, strain already overtaxed resources, require local police and sheriff's deputies to make calls about complex federal law and expose communities to new liability.

    "We believe this measure would set a bad precedent for local governments," said Kyra Ross, a lobbyist for the League of California Cities.

    The Coachella Valley doesn't have any sanctuary cities, though the city of Coachella had considered becoming one.
    LAPD chief vows to clarify policy on immigrants
    By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2008

    Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday that the department's controversial policy on dealing with illegal immigrants was widely misunderstood by the public and some of his own officers, and he would clarify the rule in the next couple of weeks.

    Bratton strongly defended the basic intent of the policy -- known as Special Order 40 -- which prohibits officers from initiating contact with individuals for the sole purpose of determining whether they are illegal immigrants.

    The 29-year-old policy was designed to encourage illegal immigrants to cooperate with police without fear of being deported. It has come under renewed debate in recent weeks after the high-profile killing of a teenager, allegedly by an illegal immigrant gang member.

    The scrutiny has spilled over into the City Council, where one member has proposed making it easier for police to inquire about known gang members' immigration status.

    Bratton said the recent criticism is based on a faulty understanding of the rule.
    Cities will not need to crack down on immigration
    By Jake Henshaw for the Desert Sun, April 17, 2008

    SACRAMENTO -- State lawmakers Wednesday decided that California cities shouldn't lose state funds for offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

    The Assembly Local Government Committee, on a party-line vote, killed a bill that would have withheld vehicle license fees from local governments that adopt a ``don't ask, don’t tell'' policy when it comes to identifying and reporting undocumented immigrants to federal authorities.

    Instead the bill by Assemblyman John J. Benoit, R-Bermuda Dunes, would have directed a sanctuary's city share of the $7 billion in local VLF fees to communities working with federal officials on immigration law enforcement.

    ``AB 2601 is a common sense measure that is necessary to ensure that the governments throughout California uphold and protect the rule of law,'' Benoit said. ``If those laws are being undermined by certain cities, we should not tolerate that in California.''

    Opponents argued that the bill could undermine local law enforcement relations with immigrant communities, strain already overtaxed resources, require local police and sheriff's deputies to make calls about complex federal law and expose communities to new liability.

    ``We believe this measure would set a bad precedent for local governments,'' said Kyra Ross, a lobbyist for the League of California Cities.
    Some SoCal immigration offices open weekends to cut backlog
    AP, April 16, 2008

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Some federal immigration offices in the Los Angeles area are being kept open on weekends to help reduce the nation's largest backlog of immigration applications.

    According to figures from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, its Los Angeles District had 127,533 pending applications in January. The district covers seven Southern California counties.

    That figure is nearly 70% larger than the nation's second-biggest backlog, in Miami.

    District Director Jane Arellano says applicants in Southern California typically wait nine months to a year for an interview. But officials say weekend schedules at offices in East Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Bernardino are helping cut that wait.

    Nationwide, Citizenship and Immigration Services received 1.4 million applications in 2007, nearly double the number for 2006.
    Immigration debate hits home for liver transplant patients
    By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2008

    Ana Puente was an infant with a liver disorder when her aunt brought her illegally to the U.S. to seek medical care. She underwent two liver transplants at UCLA Medical Center as a child in 1989 and a third in 1998, each paid for by the state.

    But when Puente turned 21 last June, she aged out of her state-funded health insurance and was unable to continue treatment at UCLA.

    This year, her liver began failing again and she was hospitalized at County-USC Medical Center. In her Medi-Cal application, a USC doctor wrote, "Her current clinical course is irreversible, progressive and will lead to death without another liver transplant." The application was denied.

    The county gave her medication but does not have the resources to perform transplants.

    Late last month Puente learned of another, little-known option for patients with certain healthcare needs. If she notified U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that she was in the country illegally, state health officials might grant her full Medi-Cal coverage. Puente did so, her benefits were restored and she is now awaiting a fourth transplant at UCLA.

    Puente's case highlights two controversial issues: Should illegal immigrants receive liver transplants in the U.S. and should taxpayers pick up the cost?

    The average cost of a liver transplant and first-year follow-up is nearly $490,000, and anti-rejection medications can run more than $30,000 annually, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which oversees transplantation nationwide.
    Councilman Dennis Zine Proposes Revised LAPD Immigration Policy
    KNBC, April 11, 2008

    LOS ANGELES -- A proposal to go after gang members who are in the country illegally gained support Thursday from Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, who said he will seek to amend an LAPD policy that currently bars police officers from asking arrestees about their legal status.

    The councilman, who has spent almost 40 years with the Los Angeles Police Department -- in recent years as a reserve officer -- will introduce a motion Friday asking that Special Order 40 be amended to allow police officers to notify federal immigration officials of gang members who are in the United States illegally.

    Special Order 40 prohibits Los Angeles police officers from questioning or arresting suspects based solely on their immigration status. The order is intended to encourage illegal immigrants to report crimes and assist police.
    L.A. mayor chides ICE for workplace immigration raids
    By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2008

    Villaraigosa tells Homeland Security chief that agents should target criminal gang members and not legitimate businesses. Agency spokeswoman says the priorities are proper.

    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has asked the federal government to review its immigration enforcement priorities, warning that work-site raids on "non-exploitative" businesses could have "severe and lasting effects" on the local economy.
    Less crime fighting money distributed to U.S. S border cities
    People's Daily Online, April 7, 2008

    Less crime fighting money has been distributed to U.S. southern border cities because of San Francisco's inflated estimates of border-related crimes, local media reported Sunday.

    Los Angeles, San Diego and other cities closer to Mexico were denied millions in federal crime fighting dollars because of inflated claims from the city 500 miles away from the border, the federal Justice Department said.

    The San Francisco Chronicle reported that according to a federal audit, the federal government said San Francisco officials apparently vastly overstated the number of illegal aliens arrested in the city.

    Ironically, San Francisco has declared itself a sanctuary city, and has a formal policy against reporting immigration law offenders to the federal government.

    San Francisco told Washington officials that it had prosecuted 2,000 criminal cases based on border-related crimes. As a result, the federal government gave San Francisco 5.4 million U.S. dollars in border-related crime fighting assistance grants over three years.

    In 2006, the Justice Department realized the problem and drastically decreased San Francisco's share. The city has been asked to turn over police records about arrests, and the City by the Bay may have to repay some of that money, Justice Department officials told the Chronicle.

    A spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom said San Francisco is cooperating with the investigation, but would not comment further.
    Immigrant Rights Group Upset With Fremont PD
    NBC 11, April 3, 2008

    Something the Fremont police department did last Friday has immigrant rights attorneys angry, NBC11's Damian Trujillo reported.

    On Friday, Fremont police responded to complaints by Home Depot and cited about 15 people for loitering.

    Detective Bill Veteran told NBC11, "As a matter of courtesy, we alert (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) when we conduct" these kinds of operations.

    Mark Silverman with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center told NBC11 alerting ICE may have been unconstitutional.

    The Legal Resource Center in San Francisco said it has high-powered law firms that represent the Googles and Yahoos of Silicon Valley and those law firms will investigate to see if constitutional law was violated and immigrant rights groups will look into other legal options.

    "Our preference would be not to file litigation, rather have conversations with the city of Fremont," Silverman said.

    Veteran said last Friday members of his department held a sting of day workers who congregate at a nearby Home Depot, looking for work. Veteran said some of them harass customers and drink in public.

    The Fremont Police Department cited the workers for trespassing and arrested 12 of them because they carried no ID, Veteran said.

    Police took 13 people to the Santa Rita Jail so they could be properly identified, Veteran said.
    San Francisco Sentinel, April 2, 2008

    Today, joined by community groups, faith leaders, and City department heads, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Tom Ammiano launched a public awareness campaign to promote San Francisco’s “sanctuary” policy for undocumented residents, and assure all residents that accessing city services does not make an individual vulnerable to federal immigration authorities.

    “The City’s public awareness campaign is a reminder that City employees will not report individuals or theirmimmigration status to federal immigration agents,” said Mayor Newsom.

    “San Francisco residents should feel safe when they visit a public health clinic, enroll their children in school, report a crime to the Police Department or seek out other City services.”

    The awareness campaign will consist of advertisements of the city sanctuary city policy, complete with multilanguage brochures and radio and TV public service announcements.

    In 1989, San Francisco passed the “City of Refuge” Ordinance (Sanctuary Ordinance) which prohibits City employees from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with immigration investigations or arrests unless such help is required by federal or state law or a warrant.
    Eagle Forum: Stop flood of illegal immigration - Nearly 200 attend conservative group's RP conference, hear call for maintaining American sovereignty
    By PAUL PAYNE for THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, March 30, 2008

    Nearly 200 people attended a Rohnert Park conference Saturday about maintaining American sovereignty in the face of rising globalism, and stemming the tide of illegal immigration from Mexico.

    Speakers played to the fears of a receptive audience, espousing views that warned of a possible merger of the United States with Mexico and Canada into a North American Union, and denouncing "anchor babies," a term used to describe children born in America to illegal immigrants that they claim overwhelm schools and the nation's system of medical care.
    Campbell to discuss sanctuary cities
    Orange County Register, March 29, 2008

    We hear the Register’s partner news station KDOC is going to have Rep. John Campbell on the air Friday to discuss his views on U.S. immigration policies.

    Campbell, R-Irvine, has long proposed legislation that would withhold federal funds to self-declared “sanctuary cities.” His proposal isn’t part of any legislation up for debate right now, said Campbell spokesman Vartan Djihanian. He said Campbell will seek to tack his amendment onto a new immigration bill — whenever one is proposed.

    Proponents of proposals like Campbell’s say cities should be required to collaborate with federal immigration officials and help enforce immigration law. But critics of such proposals say cities have the right to make their own decisions and that requiring them to inquire about residents’ immigration status could hurt community policing.
    Residents say economy is bad, getting worse - It passes education, immigration as state's top concern, poll finds
    John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, March 27, 2008

    Californians are increasingly nervous about the economy, which they view as bad and getting worse, a new survey shows.

    Regardless of what economists say, 72 percent of adults think the state is in a recession and 76 percent expect the state and the nation to face tough financial times in the coming year, according to the poll released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

    The state's residents are more pessimistic about the economy than at any time since the group launched its statewide survey a decade ago, said Mark Baldassare, the institute's president and chief pollster.

    "The economy is definitely what concerns people right now," he said. "People are really worried about the future. They're not convinced we've seen the bottom."

    More than one-third of Californians - 35 percent - say jobs and the economy have eclipsed education and immigration as the state's top concern. That number has nearly doubled since December.
    Immigration bill blasted by L.A. council - POLITICS: Members vote 11-1 to oppose bill requiring proof of a legal right to work.
    By Rick Orlov, Kerry Cavanaugh and Harrision Sheppard for the Daily Breeze, March 26, 2008

    Tapping the hot-button issue of immigration in the region, the Los Angeles City Council and a group of community leaders on Wednesday denounced a federal measure that would require employers to verify their workers are in the country legally.

    Calling it mean-spirited and intentionally divisive, the council voted 11-1 to oppose the measure proposed by Rep. Heath Shuler, R-N.C., which would beef up border patrols and use a computerized system to verify the legal status of job candidates.

    "We have something more compassionate and humane from the National League of Cities that we would like to see implemented," Councilman Dennis Zine said.

    "We deal with the issue of immigration, but in a way that recognizes the realities of the problem and just doesn't say we will ship 12 million people out of the country."

    Zine, who chairs the immigration task force for the organization, said many of the people who are now considered illegal immigrants came to the U.S. legally on student or work permits and have subsequently been caught up in changes in the law.
    Popular immigration lawyer gets 2 year jail sentence
    BY RHONY LAIGO, Balita News Service, March 26, 2008

    LOS ANGELES—An immigration lawyer, who once run one of the biggest immigration law firms on the West Coast, was sentenced early this week to two years in federal prison for filing fraudulent visa applications, some of which were for their own employees, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office said. A senior associate of the same firm was sentenced to three years probation, plus 200 hours of community service.

    Sentenced was Daniel E. Korenberg, 58, of Encino, a name partner and founder of the law firm formerly known as Korenberg, Abramowitz & Feldun (KAF), now operating under the name of Ask Law Group. Aside from the 24 months federal prison sentence, Korenberg was also ordered to a three year supervised release with a condition that he serve an additional six months on home detention with electronic monitoring.
    California GOP unveil immigration plan
    AP, March 25, 2008

    Republican lawmakers in California have released a legislative package intended to crack down on illegal immigration and punish companies that hire illegal workers.

    The 20 bills would take a number of steps, including eliminating tuition benefits for illegal students. Another bill asks the federal government to reimburse California for the cost of holding illegal immigrants in state prisons.

    Assemblywoman Mimi Walters, a Republican from Oceanside, said the bills announced Tuesday are partly intended to put pressure on Democrats who control the Legislature.

    She said illegal immigrants cost California taxpayers an estimated $9 billion each year.

    Her bill would require state agencies to verify new employees' work eligibility on a federal electronic database.

    Similar bills have failed to gain traction in previous legislative sessions.
    Man accused in teen's slaying is in U.S. illegally
    By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2008

    An alleged gang member accused of killing a 17-year-old high school student just one day after being released from jail has been living in the country illegally, possibly for more than a decade, federal immigration authorities said Saturday.

    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has filed paperwork naming 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza, the suspect in the March 2 killing of Los Angeles High School football star Jamiel Shaw Jr., as a potential candidate for deportation.

    Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the immigration agency, said an immigration hold was issued for Espinoza on March 13, nearly a week after he was arrested in connection with Shaw's death.
    U.S. tries to shut revolving door of illegal reentry - The effort includes combing California prisons and jails for illegal immigrants who have previously been deported.
    By Anna Gorman and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2008

    Federal authorities are cracking down on immigrants who were previously deported and then reentered the country illegally -- a crime that now makes up more than one-third of all prosecutions in Los Angeles and surrounding counties, a Times review of U.S. attorney's statistics shows.

    The surge in prosecutions reflects the federal government's push in recent years to detect illegal immigrants with criminal records in what may seem the most obvious of places: the state's jails and prisons.

    Immigration authorities have long combed inmate populations for illegal immigrants, but additional money and cooperation with local law enforcement have fueled an increase in such cases by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles. The illegal reentry charge is the single most prosecuted crime in the office.
    Landlord can't ask about immigration status
    Project Sentinel, San Francisco Chronicle, March 15, 2008

    Q: I am a landlord who tries to be careful about my process in selecting tenants. I would like to ask prospective tenants to provide me with evidence of their legal immigration status. Do I have the right to include such a question on my application form?

    A: Before this year, there was confusion about the right to inquire about immigration status, but the question has now been clarified by the Legislature, at least for purposes of state law.

    As of Jan. 1, Section 1940.3 prohibits a landlord from inquiring about the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant or prospective tenant or occupant of residential rental property. The statute also prohibits any local government from enacting any contrary ordinance.

    The statute states that landlords continue to have the right to request information to document the financial qualifications of a prospective tenant through any other means. The statute also indicates that the landlord remains free to comply with any federal law, but in our view, there is no federal law requiring a landlord to investigate a tenant's immigration status.
    15 People Rescued at Sea Near San Diego
    AP, March 12, 2008

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Fifteen people were rescued from a boat off the Pacific coast Wednesday after they were stranded for three days in an apparent human smuggling attempt gone bad, authorities said.

    Officials of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Protection agency found the 24-foot vessel several miles offshore, north of the Mexican border, according to the Customs and Border Protection agency. There was no food or water on board, and some people were dehydrated and sunburned, but no one required medical treatment, he said.

    Eleven men and four women were taken to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego and placed in the custody of immigration authorities, said Vince Bond, a Customs spokesman.

    Fourteen passengers were Mexican and one was Salvadoran, said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It was not immediately clear whether smugglers were among them.

    Alberto Lozano, a spokesman for the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, said the passengers entered the U.S. illegally.
    Benoit Introduces Bill To Cut Off State Funding to Sanctuary Cities
    KESQ TV, March 7, 2008

    A bill to cut off state funding for so-called sanctuary cities and transfer the funds to local police training for immigration enforcement, was introduced Thursday by valley Assemblyman John J. Benoit.

    AB 2601, the Illegal Immigration Sanctuary City Ban, would remove vehicle licensing fee funding from sanctuary cities and deposit those funds into an account to fund law enforcement training under a provision of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act.

    "It's outrageous that some cities in California intentionally promote illegal immigration," Benoit said. "Worst of all, these sanctuary cities provide refuge to international gangs by leaving the police powerless against already-deported criminal aliens. My common-sense measure would reward local governments who cooperate with federal immigration enforcement and train their cops to report felony offenders to the proper authorities."
    CA funding cuts punish sanctuary cities
    By Nannette Miranda for KGO TV, March 7, 2008

    SACRAMENTO, CA (KGO) -- A new crackdown may be coming on so-called "sanctuary cities" which look the other way when it comes to illegal immigrants. San Francisco and San Jose, among others, never report illegals to federal authorities, but now, one lawmaker wants to punish those cities by cutting-off funding.

    Tired that some California cities provide refuge to illegal immigrants, one Republican wants to force city leaders' hands. Either drop your "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy by forcing your workers to report them, or lose millions of precious dollars. "We're not going to deal with the issue by turning our head and pretending it's not there. We're going to tell these cities that this is something we will not tolerate in the state
    State GOP fires worker facing immigration problems
    Carla Marinucci and Lance Williams for the San Francisco Chronicle, March 6, 2008

    The Canadian political operative hired by the California Republican Party on a coveted H1B visa to do campaign consulting has been fired after it was revealed he was apparently working in violation of immigration law.

    The dismissal, announced this week, came after The Chronicle reported last month that Christopher Matthews apparently violated federal immigration law when he also earned money from a second employer.

    Matthews, a Canadian citizen, was hired last year as deputy political director for the California Republican Party, with responsibility for handling campaign operations and information technology for the country's largest state GOP operation, U.S. Department of Labor records showed.

    Matthews "no longer works for the California Republican Party," Hector Barajas, a state party spokesman, confirmed Thursday.
    Assemblyman Bob Huff Introduces Illegal Immigration Reform Package
    California Chronicle, March 5, 2008

    Sacramento, CA (March 5, 2008) – California has become "home" to an estimated three million illegal immigrants who have crossed the state´s porous borders seeking work and a better life. Many residing here illegally, including those who break laws not related to immigration, have created a drain on tax-funded benefits reserved for American citizens and legal immigrants. Assemblyman Bob Huff has introduced a package of five common sense bills to help address this growing problem.
    Advocates organize to thwart US immigration agents - Phone trees among tools used to thwart federal agents
    By Michael Martinez for the Chicago Tribune, March 1, 2008

    RESEDA, Calif. - When federal immigration officers visited over three days last October looking for an illegal Salvadoran immigrant, a neighborhood watch kicked into action each time.

    Dozens of immigrants, legal and illegal, phoned one another, warning of a raid.

    "I called my sister in the building next door and another sister in this building," said Maria, who said she is an illegal immigrant from Mexico and has two children who are U.S.-born citizens. She asked that her full name not be used. "They came and knocked on doors, but no one answered."

    Angelita Pascacio, an organizer of Madres Contra Redadas (Mothers Against Raids) who has since moved from the 16-unit apartment building, described the surveillance by immigrants as clumsy at first, but effective. "Thanks to our being organized, they didn't take anyone away," she said.
    Immigration: No Correlation With Crime
    By KATHLEEN KINGSBURY for Time/CNN, February 27, 2008

    Despite our melting-pot roots, Americans have often been quick to blame the influx of immigrants for rising crime rates. But new research released Monday shows that immigrants in California are, in fact, far less likely than U.S.-born Californians are to commit crime. While people born abroad make up about 35% of California's adult population, they account for only about 17% of the adult prison population, the report by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) showed. Indeed, among men ages 18 to 40 — the demographic most likely to be imprisoned — those born in the U.S. were 10 times more likely than foreign-born men to be incarcerated.
    US Study challenges immigration fears
    One News, February 25, 2008

    Immigrants are far less likely than the average US-born citizen to commit crime in California, the most populous state in the United States, according to a newly-released report.

    People born outside the United States make up about 35% of California's adult population but account for about 17% of the adult prison population, the report by the Public Policy Institute of California showed.

    According to the report's authors the findings suggest that long-standing fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified. The report also noted that US-born adult men are incarcerated at a rate more than 2 1/2 times greater than that of foreign-born men.
    Tran proposes bill to check state inmates’ immigration status
    By Amy Taxin for the Orange County Register, February 21, 2008

    Assemblyman Van Tran is proposing a bill to require state prisons to check inmates’ immigration status.

    The bill, which was introduced yesterday by Tran and Assemblyman Martin Garrick, would train state correctional officers to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to verify inmates’ status and facilitate the deportation of inmates who are found to be in the country illegally.
    Too tough on illegal immigration - Excessively harsh laws do nothing to bring about real reform.
    Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2008

    It's getting ugly out there for illegal immigrants. States and cities are cracking down with harsh new ordinances, and the courts are upholding them. Not only are deportations at record highs, but immigrants are being detained at places previously understood to be off-limits, such as schools. The debate about illegal immigration, labor, social justice and international trade has devolved into open season on illegal immigrants.
    Minutemen Fight Change in Highway Cleanup Site
    By WILLIE BANS for the New York Times, February 20, 2008

    SAN DIEGO — When California awarded the San Diego Minutemen, a group well known for its border monitoring in search of illegal immigrants, a permit last Nov. 21 to clean a stretch of highway including the Border Patrol checkpoint at San Onofre, complaints from immigrant advocacy groups and Hispanic lawmakers were swift and strong.
    Border Patrol: Smugglers Planting Booby Traps
    By NBC San Diego, February 12, 2008

    SAN DIEGO -- Smugglers of drugs and illegal immigrants are using booby traps to try and harm Border Patrol agents, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
    CYPRESS : City Takes Stand on Immigration, Drugs
    February 01, 1992|LYNDA NATALI for the Orange County Focus

    The City Council this week supported a resolution urging President Bush to crack down on illegal immigration and drugs coming into Southern California.

    Mayor Richard Partin requested that the council consider the resolution drafted by the West Orange County Mayor's Group, which includes the mayors of Cypress, Garden Grove, Los Alamitos, Stanton, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Westminster.

    The resolution asks the President to take "action to stop the flow of illicit drugs and illegal immigration from our border to the south."

    "The large number of illegal immigrants entering our cities is creating a negative economic impact and creating increased costs for city, county and school district services during a time of recession," the resolution says. If the resolution gains enough support from the various cities, the mayor's group will then send it to the Orange County Division of the League of Cities for consideration and action.