Tag Archives: San Francisco

Legislators in California introduce bill to exempt teachers from state income tax

churchlady_isnt-that-special

From Fox News: Legislators in California recently introduced a bill that would offer educators major tax breaks in an effort to keep them in the classroom and combat the state’s growing teacher shortage.

The measure quickly drew fire from taxpayer advocates who criticized it as politically inspired favoritism.

California’s state income tax rate ranges from 1 percent to 12.3 percent, depending on taxable income. For example, taxable income between $40,774 and $51,530 draws a 8 percent tax rate while taxable income between $51,531 and $263,222 draws a 9.3 percent tax rate.

Another enticement in the bill would give new teachers tax credits for the money they spent to earn full teaching credentials. These credits would cover such costs as college tuition and certification tests, and these expenses could be entirely recouped entirely over five years.

Teachers are the original job creators. The teaching profession is critical to California’s economic success and impacts every vocation and profession in the state,” Stern said in a press release. “SB 807 addresses the immediate teacher shortage and sends a loud and clear message across the state and nation:  California values teachers. We will help train you and we want you to stay in the classroom.”

Stern – a former teacher – said one-third of all California teachers quit before their fifth year because of the financial hardships placed on them due to low pay and the state’s high cost of living.

“You’re not going to be able to get paid $50,000 a year and go live in the Bay Area, go teach at the local school…. we think it’s a pretty creative tool, we’ll see how the fiscal conservatives in this house want to approach this,” Stern told Fox 40.

The median household income in San Francisco is over $88,000 and more than $61,000 statewide. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Bay Area is just shy of $3,500 a month.

Fiscally conservative groups, including the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, criticized the bill. Jazz Shaw, writing on the group’s website, said that for lawmakers to pick certain groups to get privileged treatment is a slippery slope.

If you take an entire class of people based on their occupation and say that they are somehow ‘more deserving’ than everyone else and should be exempted from paying state income taxes, what other groups might qualify? It’s not hard to imagine quite a few of these ‘deserving’ professions being rather quick to have their hands out,” he wrote.

The bill is expected to enter committee review by the end of the month and has so far faced no opposition from lawmakers in either party. It is unclear, however, what the estimated loss in tax revenue to the state would be if the measure is approved.

“It’s time California leads the nation and sends a clear message to all current and future teachers: You are valued and California will reward your commitment to California’s kids and future,” Bill Lucia, president of the Sacramento-based lobbying and research organization EdVoice, told the Los Angeles Times.

Currently 75 percent of all California school districts face a teacher shortage, and researchers say that one-third of all teachers in the state are older than 50. The problem is compounded by the fact that the turnover rate among teachers remains high and that less people are entering the profession, according to data compiled by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

In the 2014-15 school year, enrollments in teacher preparation programs dropped to 20,881 — down 40 percent from 2010-11 and 73 percent from 2001-02.

The California Teacher Association has so far not taken a stance on SB 807, but agrees that the shortage of educators in the state is a serious problem.

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Sacramento lawsuit charges that lack of court hearings for undocumented immigrants violates Constitution

I might be illegal

From Sacramento Bee: For a year and a half, Jose Garcia-Alcazar has been sitting in jails in Richmond and Elk Grove while his lawyers fight the government’s efforts to deport him to his native Mexico. For more than six months now, Garcia-Alcazar, who has three children who are U.S. citizens, has not had a hearing to determine whether he is eligible for bail while the immigration courts figure out what to do with him.

Lawyers for the former car-wash employee in Rohnert Park call his extended stay in jail a case of indefinite detention. They also call it unconstitutional, and they say it stands in direct defiance of a 2011 appellate court ruling that guarantees incarcerated aliens a bail hearing – even if they have criminal records and made their way back to the United States after having already been deported. Garcia-Alcazar, 30, has drug convictions and once associated in Mexico with “coyotes” who smuggled people into the United States, one of his lawyers said.

Earlier this month, Garcia-Alcazar’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento seeking class-action status to try to reinstate bail hearings for him and an untold number of other undocumented immigrants illegal aliens. In the lawsuit, the lawyers are challenging a memorandum issued by an immigration judge in San Francisco that says people like Garcia-Alcazar who return to the U.S. after being deported are not entitled to “redetermination” hearings that would give them a chance to make their case for bail.

While an immigration judge’s decisions are usually confined to his or her own courtroom, lawyers for Garcia-Alcazar say the one made by Anthony S. Murry on Dec. 12 has been reduced to an eight-page memo that is now being widely distributed. The plaintiff’s attorneys noted that the memo came out and that bail hearings began to be curtailed just a month after President Donald Trump was elected on a campaign that promised to build a wall across the southern border of the United States and cut off illegal immigration from Mexico.

“It is kind of weird that it started happening toward the end of the year,” said Joseph LaCome, the attorney who wrote the briefs in the case filed in Sacramento and who has filed similar lawsuits in Phoenix and San Francisco.

According to LaCome, it had been common practice in immigration courts before the election for judges to hold the bail hearings. He said such proceedings have since tailed off to “nothing.”

On Tuesday, the Trump administration released two memos outlining its enforcement strategy on illegal immigration. Along with the construction of the border wall, the plan called for hiring 10,000 new immigration control officers and 5,000 additional border security officers as well as for having local police departments use their personnel as immigration officers.

The administration’s memos also proposed a surge in “the deployment of immigration judges and asylum officers to interview and adjudicate claims asserted by recent border entrants.” They call for “establishment of appropriate processing and detention facilities,” within a hundred miles of the Mexican border. And they aim to achieve a sharp reduction in what the administration calls the parole of aliens while their immigration cases are pending, which has enabled thousands of them, the administration contends, to abscond from the law.

In response to Trump’s action plan, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s immigrants rights project, Omar Jadwat, said, “Trump does not have the last word here.” Jadwat promised legal action “if they go back to discredited detainer policies that we’ve already beat in court numerous times,” an outcome that the Garcia-Alcazar lawsuit suggests is already taking place.

Kathryn Mattingly, the spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office of Immigration Review, which oversees the nation’s immigration courts, said in an email Wednesday that Murry’s memo “was an independent decision by an immigration judge for one particular respondent.” She said such memorandums “are not distributed to EOIR staff as they apply only to the individual case for which they were written.”

Plaintiff’s attorney LaCome, however, said he has been told by an attorney for the Office of the Chief Counsel – the arm of the Department of Homeland Security that prosecutes cases in immigration court – that Murry’s memorandum is now being distributed around the country, making the case to deny bail hearings to immigrants from coast to coast.

“The OCC attorney told me they took it and ran with it all over the 9th Circuit,” LaCome said. “The attorney told me it also was going all over the country.”

A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees the government’s lawyers in immigration courts, declined to comment on any pending case.

LaCome maintains in the suit, filed Feb. 9, that the Murry memorandum violates the 2011 Diouf decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that entitles aliens to bail hearings every six months, even if they have been rearrested after deportation.

The Garcia-Alcazar petition seeks “an immediate custody hearing before a federal district judge or magistrate, or an IJ (immigration judge) other than IJ Murry,” to determine whether the memorandum is lawful. It also wants to stop the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Executive Office of Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “from continuing their policy of influencing Immigration judges within this Circuit to deny Diouf bond hearings.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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Donald Trump will publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal aliens

maga

This will no doubt trigger the pro-sanctuary city mayors. Works for me.

From Daily Mail: Donald Trump will publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants aliens under an executive action he claims will ‘enhance public safety’.  Trump signed the order on Wednesday which also stated that sanctuary cities that refuse to arrest immigrants over their illegal status will lose federal funding.

The list, also known as a Declined Detainer Outcome Report, will include a comprehensive list of criminal activity committed by illegal aliens that will ‘better inform’ the public.

The document states that the 300 sanctuary cities which currently exist nationwide violate federal law as they attempt to ‘shield aliens’ from deportation. Trump added that these cities have caused ‘immeasurable harm’ to Americans.

Although the president does not have power to withhold all federal funding, he can pressure cities to comply by cutting grants. The administration also plans to crack down by hiring an additional 10,000 immigration officers. 

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio vowed not to ‘deport law-abiding New Yorkers’ in a news conference on Wednesday. Mayors in Santa Fe, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston have all defied the president’s order and pledged to protect immigrants illegal aliens.

New York Police Department has a list of 170 criminal offenses that are not covered by the sanctuary policy, such as felony assault, rape, murder, terrorism, and gun smuggling and witness tampering, the New York Post reported.

NYPD is required to report illegal immigrants aliens charged with those crimes to federal law enforcement. 

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California lawmakers want third-gender option on IDs

genders

From Fox News: Democratic lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill supporters say would make California the first state to add a third gender option on state identifying documents.

State Sen. Toni Atkins’ bill would add a non-binary gender marker option for driver’s licenses, birth certificates, identity cards and gender change court orders. The San Diego Democrat says SB 179 would also simplify the process for changing one’s gender on those documents.

Transgender people face discrimination in their everyday lives when they use IDs that do not match the gender they appear to be, Atkins said. The legislation would help transgender people and those who do not identify as either male or female to obtain official documents that match their gender identity, she said.

SB 179 would end the requirements that a person get a doctor’s sworn statement and appear in court even if no objections have been filed when petitioning to change their gender on official documents. The bill would also allow minors to apply for a gender change on their birth certificate.

This legislation would be the first of its kind in the country, said Jo Michael, who works with Equality California, a group that advocates for LGBT rights and is co-sponsoring Atkins’ bill.

“As a person who identifies as transgender and is non-binary, this piece of legislation is important to me on a personal level,” Michael said during a press conference on the bill. “For the first time, Californians could have accurate gender markers that truly reflect who we are.”

The federal government does not offer a third gender option for official documents such as passports. The issue drew national attention in November when a federal judge asked the U.S. State Department to reconsider its decision to deny a passport to a Colorado resident who does not identify as male or female. Government lawyers argued that moving beyond two gender choices on federal documents would hamper officials’ ability to verify identities and backgrounds because they rely on state documents including drivers’ licenses and birth certificates with only male and female gender options.

The California Family Council, a conservative Christian group, opposes adding gender options beyond male and female to state documents, the group’s CEO Jonathan Keller said.

“We believe government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification and medical purposes,” Keller said in a statement on SB 179. “Laws like this will simply erase any meaningful gender definitions, if being male or female is completely divorced from biological facts.”

Sen. Scott Wiener is coauthoring SB 179 and said he thinks California should lead the way in enacting protections for transgender people.

The trans community is under assault in this country. California needs to go in the opposite direction,” the San Francisco Democrat said. “When they go backwards, we go forwards.”

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Judge rules Kate Steinle’s family can’t sue the city of San Francisco

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Murder victim Kate Steinle

About Joseph C. Spero, the judge who dismissed this case: “Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero has presided as trial judge in criminal and civil cases in a variety of subject areas, including patent, employment, civil rights, commercial contract, trademark, and federal misdemeanor cases. He has also served as a settlement judge in over 1500 cases.”

From Daily Mail: The family of a woman allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant who was deported five times cannot sue the city of San Francisco, a judge ruled.

Kate Steinle, 32, was reportedly shot dead by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, 45, a Mexican national with a long criminal record who was allowed to remain in the country due to the city’s controversial sanctuary policies.

The Steinle family argued in a wrongful death suit that the city and former sheriff should be held responsible for her murder.  

Lawyers argued that if city officials had notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they released 7-time felon Lopez-Sanchez from prison in April of 2015, Kate’s death could have been avoided. 

‘Kate’s death was both foreseeable and preventable had the law enforcement agencies, officials and/or officers involved simply followed the laws, regulations and/or procedures which they swore to uphold,’ the lawsuit said.

However, Judge Joseph C. Spero dismissed their claims on Friday, according to KTLA.

He wrote: ‘No law required the Sheriff’s Department to share Lopez-Sanchez’s release date with ICE, nor did any law forbid Mirkarimi establishing a policy against such cooperation’.

Kate’s death caused an uproar when it occurred last year and became a rallying cry for Donald Trump’s immigration policies while on the campaign trail.

Sanctuary cities have no clear definition or geographic limit. They are scattered throughout the country and generally limit the ability of government workers to assist the federal government with immigration matters.

In San Francisco, the City and County of Refuge ordinance, passed in 1989, ‘prohibits city employees from helping federal immigration enforcement efforts unless compelled by court order or state law’, according to CNN.

The Steinle family may still have an opportunity to seek justice, as the judge allowed their case against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to continue. Lopez-Sanchez reportedly stole the gun he used to kill Kate from a BLM unattended vehicle.

Read the rest of the story here.

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California Agrees to Fund the Country’s First Inmate Sex-Reassignment Surgery

shiloh-heavenly-quine

The murderer can finally feel complete. Don’t think I can say the same for his victim and the family members.

From Yahoo: A 57-year-old convicted killer serving a life sentence in California became the first U.S. inmate to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery, the prisoner’s attorneys confirmed Friday to The Associated Press.

California prison officials agreed in August 2015 to pay for the surgery for Shiloh Heavenly Quine, who was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery for ransom and has no possibility of parole.

Quine’s case led the state to become the first to set standards that will allow other transgender to inmates apply to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery. It also prompted a federal magistrate to require California to provide transgender female inmates housed in men’s facilities with more female-oriented items such as nightgowns, scarves and necklaces.

“For too long, institutions have ignored doctors and casually dismissed medically necessary and life-saving care for transgender people just because of who we are,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, which represents Quine and other transgender inmates. Completion of the surgery not only fulfills a landmark legal settlement but marks a victory “for all transgender people who have ever been denied the medical care we need,” Hayashi said.

Quine will be moved to a women’s prison after the operation, which was performed at a hospital in San Francisco, her attorneys said. Quine told a prison psychologist who recommended her him for the operation that it would bring a “drastic, internal completeness.”

She He expects it will end a dysfunction and depression so deep that she he tried to cut and hang herself himself in prison five times, most recently in 2014 when she he was initially told she he could not have the operation. Quine said she he tried unsuccessfully to amputate her his genitalia when she was about 19, three years before she he went to prison and roughly the same time she he tried self-medicating with illegally purchased female hormones.

She He and an accomplice are serving life terms for kidnapping and fatally shooting 33-year-old Shahid Ali Baig in downtown Los Angeles in February 1980, stealing $80 and his car during a drug- and alcohol-fueled rampage. Baig left behind two young daughters and a son.

Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the federal court-appointed official who controls California’s prison medical care, said the cost of sex-reassignment surgeries could approach $100,000, including procedures and medications before and after the operation. Attorneys at the Oakland-based Transgender Law Center said that figure is exaggerated.

A portion of the state’s expense will generally be reimbursed by the federal government, Hayhoe said. The percentage varies depending on individual circumstances, but it can cover up to 95 percent of allowable charges.

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Churches Vow to Offer Sanctuary to Illegal Aliens

I might take those who aid and abet illegal aliens a little more seriously if they were as determined to evict the illegals who kill and maim US citizens. MIGHT.

Sarah Root: Killed by an illegal alien

Sarah Root: Killed by an illegal alien.

From NBC New York: Hundreds of houses of worship are offering sanctuary to people who could face deportation if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on his campaign pledge to remove millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.

Kate Steinle: Killed by an illegal alien.

Kate Steinle: Killed by an illegal alien.

To some churches, sanctuary means spiritual support or legal assistance to fight deportation. Others promise or already are extending physical sanctuary by housing immigrants.

In Brockton, a poor city of about 95,000 people south of Boston, four churches have pledged to take in immigrants fearful of being deported. “If you need a safe place, once you enter the doors of this building, you are safe,” said the Rev. Abraham Waya, pastor of Central United Methodist Church, who said his church can shelter as many as 100 people. “We will host you and take care of you for as long as it takes.”

Jonathan Montez: Killed by an illegal alien.

Jonathan Montez: Killed by an illegal alien.

During the campaign, Trump pledged to “immediately terminate” President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has extended work permits and temporary deportation relief to more than 700,000 immigrants brought here illegally as youths.

In an interview with Time magazine published this week, Trump adopted a more sympathetic tone toward young immigrants, saying, “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud.”

A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency follows a 2011 policy to generally avoid entering “sensitive locations” such as schools, places of worship and hospitals to take custody of undocumented immigrants illegal aliens. The policy says enforcement actions can be conducted in those locations in cases of terrorism or when there are “exigent circumstances.”

About 450 houses of worship of various denominations nationwide have offered to provide some form of sanctuary, including living space, financial assistance or rides for schoolchildren, said Alison Harrington, pastor of Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona.

Immigrants have been fearful for decades, particularly as deportations increased during the Obama administration, said Harrington, who is involved in the sanctuary movement on a national scale. But Trump’s campaign promises to build a wall along the Mexican border, to bar Muslims from entering the country and to deport millions “has really galvanized people,” she said.

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, with more than 140 congregations, has adopted a resolution calling for “holy resistance” to Trump’s immigration proposals and declaring itself a “sanctuary diocese.”

Peter

Peter Pedemonti, Executive Director of New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, a coalition of 17 churches and two synagogues said it has seen a huge uptick in the number of volunteers for a program offering support to immigrants when ICE raids their homes. The program had 65 volunteers in May. In the two weeks following Trump’s win, more than 1,000 new volunteers signed up, said Peter Pedemonti, executive director of the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. “We know that we’re in a different historical moment right now and that our faith compels us to take increasingly bold actions,” Harrington said.

(Note: From the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia web site: “4 Ways to Fight Trump. Excerpt: “This is terrifying. Trump’s campaign of hate, racism and exclusion took the White House.  The backlash of white voters was harsh and strong, and Trump’s rhetoric now has the power of the White House behind it.“)

electionshaveconsequences

Some churches have already made good on their promises. In Philadelphia, a 40-year-old man from Mexico has been living in the Arch Street United Methodist Church for three weeks.

Javier Flores entered the U.S. illegally in 1997 and has been deported and re-entered several times since then. After being held in an ICE detention center for over a year, the agency released him for 90 days so he could prepare for deportation. He did not want to be separated from his wife and three children, so he sought refuge, said the Rev. Robin Hynicka, senior pastor. “For us, we feel it’s a moral obligation to keep families together,” Hynicka said.

Ingrid Encalata Latorre, an immigrant from Peru, took sanctuary last week with her year-old son, Anibal, at a Quaker meeting house in Denver. Latorre, 32, has exhausted appeals of a deportation order and is awaiting a decision on a final, discretional appeal to immigration officials in Washington.

She left her native Cusco, Peru, in 2000 to join an aunt in Colorado, where she found work as a dishwasher, cared for kids, cleaned homes and worked at assisted living centers, she said. In 2002, she bought fake papers from an unscrupulous street seller.

She was arrested in 2010 and pleaded guilty to a felony ID theft charge. She paid $11,500 in back taxes and successfully completed parole, but her guilty felony plea brought her to ICE’s attention. Advocates arranged for LaTorre and Anibal to stay in the meeting house.

Anibal, a U.S. citizen, is being treated at Denver’s Childrens Hospital for a congenital twisted neck condition; her other son, 8-year-old Bryant, is also a U.S. citizen and attends a bilingual school in suburban Westminster. “I have lived half of my life here,” she said. “Don’t be afraid. Just fight and keep going.”

Not afraid to keep fighting: Brian Terry, killed by an illegal alien.

Not afraid to keep fighting: Brian Terry, killed by an illegal alien.

DCG