What’s Happened to Sanctuary City?
Attacks on Immigrants and Youth
Gray Panthers General Meeting
Tuesday, Sept 16, 1-3 PM
Unitarian-Universalist Center, Fireside Room
1187 Franklin St, (betw. O’Farrell, Geary)
San Francisco’s 1989 Sanctuary Ordinance is intended to prohibit 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. It was adopted to allow undocumented residents full access to city services. The ordinance, here and in many other cities, developed out of a 1980s grass-roots movement where churches offered sanctuary for Latin American refugees fleeing US-sponsored dictatorships or wars against popular movements. Now, 130 US cities and towns are official places of refuge.
More recently, however, the SF Ordinance has come under attack, with almost daily SF Chronicle articles shouting that the Sanctuary Ordinance is shielding youthful and adult criminals, and a racist Minutemen rally on City Hall steps demanding repeal. In response, Mayor Gavin Newsom has demanded an overhaul of the Ordinance, so undocumented youths charged with felonies are turned over to ICE. He is also backpedeling on an ordinance he supported giving municipal ID cards to those who cannot get drivers licenses.
Meanwhile, the needs of all youth, citizen and immigrant alike, for jobs, housing, education, and medical or mental care are not even discussed. Nor is it discussed that all youthful offenders, citizen and immigrant alike, should be treated differently from adult offenders. Many of the immigrant youth swept up by SF police and turned over to ICE are refugees from life-threatening poverty and gang wars in Latin America and Caribbean islands, the aftermath of free trade agreements.
These Bay Area attacks are occurring in the national context of a reign of terror against immigrants, with ICE raids, deportations, separations of families, state and local laws against hiring, housing, or giving medical care to immigrants, and Klan-like mobs encouraged by politicians and egged on by major media.
Come hear Barbara Lopez, Jose Luis Pavon, and M aria Poblet speak on the changing situation for immigrants and youth, and ways we can respond. Barbara Lopez works with Tenderloin Housing Clinic and co-founded La Voz Latina. She is active advocating for immigrant tenants and immigrant children the SF school system, and is running for the School Board. She is also an LGBT activist and opposes the military recruiting and “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies of the JROTC program in SF schools. Jose Luis Pavon is Program Director for HOMEY, a program for Mission District youth, and a leader in the Anti-Gang Injunction Coalition. Maria Poblet works for St. Peters Housing Committee, fighting gentrification and displacement of immigrant and working families in the Mission. She helped to write the SF Municipal ID Ordinance, to revise SF city department protocols on compliance with the Sanctuary Ordinance, and is a founder of the Deporten a la Migra (Deport the Immigration Authorities) Coalition. All are committed fighters for immigrants, youth, and workers’ rights.
More about this program:
Official Website: http://graypantherssf.igc.org/08-09-16-gen_meeting.htm
Added by mlyon01 on September 7, 2008