Tag Archives: San Francisco

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

kate-steinle-you-tube-screenshot

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.

DCG

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.

DCG

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

California bill creates deportation ‘safe zones’ for undocumented immigrants

No “wall of justice” for these folks in California: Kate Steinle, those who were killed by an illegal in the LA fire deaths in June, Jonathan Montez, the two-year-old beaten and paralyzed by an illegal alien, the 64-year-old woman who was raped and and fatally bludgeoned in 2015 by illegal alien on probation, or the two deputies killed during a shooting rampage  in 2014 by twice-deported illegal aliens. How humane…

Kate Steinle, murdered by an illegal alien in California

Kate Steinle, murdered by an illegal alien in California

From Sacramento Bee: Ahead of an expected hardline approach on illegal immigration under President-elect Donald Trump, California officials are proposing to further restrict the ability of federal authorities to detain and deport the approximately 2.3 million undocumented immigrants illegal aliens living in the state.

Illegal alien sympathizer Kevin de Leon

Illegal alien sympathizer and enabler Kevin de Leon

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, on Wednesday announced a bill that would prohibit state and local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources for immigration enforcement.

Senate Bill 54 would also create “safe zones” at public schools, hospitals and courthouses where immigrant enforcement would be banned, and require state agencies to update their confidentiality policies so that information on individuals’ immigration status is not shared for enforcement purposes.

“To the millions of undocumented residents illegal aliens pursuing and contributing to the California dream, the state of California will be your wall of justice should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and overreaching mass-deportation policy,” de León said in a statement. “We will not stand by and let the federal government use our state and local agencies to separate mothers from their children.”

Trump has raised the alarm of California’s large Latino population and Democratic political leaders by promising to deport or jail perhaps as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants who are criminals.

They have already vowed to resist his policies, including by introducing measures this week to provide legal assistance for immigrants facing deportation proceedings, though de León’s statement also made clear that SB 54 would not prevent law enforcement from complying with warrants to transfer violent offenders into federal custody.

liar-liar

LIAR. The illegal alien killer of Kate Steinle  had a rap sheet of seven felonies, was deported five times, and in March of 2015 was released from San Francisco Jail despite immigration authorities asking that he be held.

Deportations previously reached record levels under President Barack Obama – more than 2.5 million by 2015. California officials responded with the “Trust Act,” a 2013 law limiting the state’s cooperation with federal enforcement, including forbidding state and local agencies from holding undocumented immigrants at the request of federal authorities.

DCG

Defiant San Francisco vows to remain sanctuary city

Kate Steinle unavailable for comment.

Kate Steinle didn't feel the love from San Francisco's sanctuary city policies

Kate Steinle didn’t feel the love from San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies

From Sacramento Bee: A large crowd cheered Monday as San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee vowed that the city will remain a sanctuary for immigrants, gays and lesbians and religious minorities despite the election of a president who strikes fear into many of those communities.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to cancel federal funding for sanctuary cities such as San Francisco that decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. He also said he plans to deport millions of criminals who are living in the country illegally.

Traitor to American laws San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Traitor to American laws San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

“We will always be San Francisco,” said Lee from the Rotunda of City Hall as dozens of people roared with approval at an event that featured the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and a host of public elected officials.

“I know that there are a lot of people who are angry and frustrated and fearful, but our city’s never been about that. We have been, and always have been, a city of refuge, a city of sanctuary, a city of love.

San Francisco receives roughly $480 million directly from the federal government and more than $900 million from the state, much of it pass-through federal money, city Controller Ben Rosenfield said. The largest share goes toward health care, but federal dollars also fund public assistance and infrastructure, he said. The city’s budget is $9.6 billion.

It’s uncertain how the city would recoup that money should Trump make good on his promise to cut off sanctuary cities.

Also reacting to Trump’s statements on deportations, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said his officers will stay out of immigration issues as they have for decades. “I don’t intend on doing anything different,” Beck told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job,” Beck said.

Trump excoriated San Francisco last year when 32-year-old Kate Steinle was shot and killed by a Mexican native illegal immigrant who said he had found a gun and it accidentally fired. (One little fact the Bee leaves out of this story: the illegal killer had a rap sheet of seven felonies and was deported five times.)

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez had a federal detainer on him, but he was released from San Francisco’s jail after the district attorney declined to prosecute a decades-old marijuana sales charge. The sheriff at the time freed Lopez-Sanchez in keeping with city laws not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

San Francisco’s sanctuary policy, which was tweaked and re-affirmed earlier this year, bars city employees from cooperating with federal immigration officials in deportation efforts except in rare situations. The law dates to 1989.

Traitor to American laws Sheriff Vicki Hennessy

Traitor to American laws Sheriff Vicki Hennessy

The current sheriff, Vicki Hennessy, also supports sanctuary policy as a public safety tool. Sanctuary advocates say people who live in the country illegally are more likely to report crimes to local police if they know they won’t be deported.

She said Monday that she’s concerned but taking a wait-and-see approach to a Trump presidency “I’m following Hillary Clinton’s advice in her concession speech, which was to give the new president a chance to lead, and hopefully he’ll lead with compassion and understanding, as well as making sure our cities are safe for everybody,” Hennessy said.

Kate wasn't safe in San Francisco.

Kate wasn’t safe in San Francisco.

DCG

ICE program failing to rid US of dangerous illegal immigrants, analysts say

An illegal exploited the system and killed Kate Steinle

An illegal exploited the system and killed Kate Steinle

From Fox News: A federal program to work with local law enforcement to remove dangerous illegal immigrant criminals, implemented just weeks after Kate Steinle’s murder put the issue in the national spotlight, has resulted in fewer deportations, according to analysts.

The Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) was introduced last summer as something of a compromise to get sanctuary cities to work with the federal government on deportations by only requesting that local authorities hand over the most dangerous criminals. Statistics show that fewer local law enforcement agencies are refusing to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, yet far fewer illegal immigrant criminals are being deported under the current scheme.

“The end result is that ICE has not improved its performance through its detainer program in apprehending individuals who the agency seeks to deport,” stated a recent report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a data research organization based at Syracuse University.

Sanctuary cities, the broad term for more than 200 state and local jurisdictions that have policies barring cooperation with ICE, came under intensified fire after the July 1, 2015, murder of Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who had recently been released from local custody. By law, local law enforcement agencies are supposed to turn illegal immigrants over to the feds for deportation when they are due to be released from custody, but illegal immigration advocates say the policy violates the subject’s civil rights.

Republicans in Congress, as well as GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, have called for cutting off federal funding to sanctuary cities.

Jeh Johnson

Jeh Johnson

Jeh Johnson, secretary of ICE’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, announced PEP was taking effect on July 30, 2015, saying it replaced a previous system under which ICE ordered local law enforcement agencies to hold and turn over all illegal immigrant criminals eligible for deportation. In addition to not garnering local cooperation, the older system meant non-violent criminals or those merely suspected of crimes could be deported if they were here illegally.

“The President and I want to better focus our immigration enforcement resources on convicted criminals over undocumented immigrants who have been here for years, have committed no serious crimes, and, have, in effect, become peaceful and integrated members of the community,” Johnson said.

Obama_laughing

Instead of issuing “detainers,” or federal orders to hold and hand over illegal immigrant criminals and suspects, ICE now lodges I-247s, or “requests for notification.” Those requests are more likely to be honored, TRAC’s studies show, partly because they are made less frequently and cooperation does not mean actually turning over a subject.

“ … Outreach efforts have drastically curbed reported refusals by law enforcement agencies to transfer custody of individuals over to ICE,” the TRAC report stated, before adding, “the proportion of occasions where ICE took custody of the individual after issuing I-247 requests has not rebounded. Indeed, this rate has continued to decline.

In addition, ICE often lodges a request to be notified of a pending release, but never acts on it, according to the report. During the first two months of 2016, ICE failed to assume custody of more than 60 percent of individuals it had requested notification on. In 2009, the figure was about 30 percent, according to TRAC, which called the drop “startling.”

Critics of PEP have long objected to the idea that only violent or dangerous illegal immigrant suspects should be ticketed for deportation when they cross paths with law enforcement. The federal government is obligated to remove anyone who is here illegally, said Dan Stein, president of Federation for American Immigration Reform.

“Prioritizing the removal of the most dangerous and violent criminal aliens should not mean exempting all other immigration lawbreakers from enforcement,” Stein said. “The administration is using the pretense of focusing on hardened criminals to advance its real priority: granting de facto amnesty to the vast majority of illegal aliens.”

By prioritizing only those illegal immigrants who have proven they are dangerous, the federal government is effectively waiting for suspects to graduate to violent crimes, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy for the DC-based Center on Immigration Studies.

Sarah Root: Killed by an illegal

Sarah Root: Killed by an illegal

Vaughan cited the case of Sarah Root, who was killed in a car crash in Omaha, Neb., in January after Eswin Mejia slammed his car into hers while he was intoxicated and drag racing. Mejia is an illegal immigrant who arrived into the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor, and who had several previous brushes with the law, said Vaughan.

“The local detectives asked ICE five times for a detainer on Eswin Mejia, but ICE said that he was not a priority for enforcement because he had not been convicted of a serious crime,” Vaughan said. “He was released on bail and disappeared, and is now on ICE’s most wanted list. It was a major scandal for ICE.”

In another instance, Johnny Josue Sanchez, 21, a Honduran national in the country illegally who had been arrested three times, allegedly killed five homeless people when he set fire to a vacant building in Los Angeles. In this case, Vaughan said the combination of ICE’s and Los Angeles’s disinterest in removing Sanchez after so-called previous “minor” offenses resulted in tragedy.

In yet another case, Marilyn Pharis, a 64-year-old Air Force veteran, was brutally raped and bludgeoned to death with a claw hammer on July 24, 2015, in her own home. Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez, 29, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who was arrested six times in the previous 15 months, was one of two men charged in the case.

“All of these deaths were preventable,” Vaughan said. “ICE should not be waiting for deportable aliens to commit murder before enforcing immigration laws, and local jurisdictions should be cooperating fully in order to spare their citizens from becoming victims of people who should not be here to begin with.”

Department of Homeland Security officials did not return email inquiries to FoxNews.com about this report.

DCG

San Francisco lawmaker has had enough of the Blue Angels ‘strafing’ his city

Hey Avalos, it’s not just YOUR city. You’d better check with the other 864,815 citizens before making demands. Oh, and next time you open your trap, make sure you have a dictionary handy.

And if you’ve never seen the Blue Angels perform up close, DO IT next time they come to your town. It’s AMAZING.

blue angels

From Stars and Stripes: A San Francisco lawmaker has revived a proposal following the crash of a Blue Angels jet last week: It’s time, he said, to ban the renowned Navy squadron from flying over his city.

John Avalos, a member of the board of supervisors, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the jets are a threat to safety and should not be allowed to fly over occupied areas. Rather, he said, they should be kept over San Francisco Bay, where sea vessels typically congregate for Blue Angels performances.

“It’s about them crashing and hitting a building — a place where people live,” Avalos told the Chronicle. “It’s about the terror that they cause in people when they strafe neighborhoods. That’s something I hear about all the time when Blue Angels fly overhead.”

John Avalos

John Avalos

Avalos misused the term “strafing,” a term typically used to describe when pilots are flying their aircraft low to the ground, firing at targets while using machine guns or rotary cannons. Avalos did not return requests for an interview Monday morning, but took to Twitter over the weekend to double down on his comments, saying there are many San Francisco citizens who don’t want the planes.

Avalos has raised the issue before. Last fall, he said a Blue Angels performance over San Francisco reminded him of U.S. “imperialism.” The planes, he said, buzz San Francisco with “feel good jingoism.” He also appeared to allude to the Pentagon budget, which was estimated at $560 billion in fiscal 2015 and $585 billion this year.

Avalos, a former progressive candidate for mayor, is not the first to raise questions about the elite demonstration squadrons like the Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds. Both squadrons have historically had budgets of about $35 million per year, prompting some critics to raise questions about whether they are worth the cost.

The squadrons also occasionally have deadly mishaps. The crash Thursday killed Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, 32, shortly after he took off from an airport in Smyrna, Tenn. His aircraft went down about two miles from the runway during preparations for the Great Tennessee Air Show over the weekend.

Another crash occurred the same day in Colorado in the Thunderbirds, which were performing as part of the commencement ceremony at the Air Force Academy. In that case, the pilot, Maj. Alex Turner was not hurt and put his plane down in an open field after avoiding homes, military officials said.

Avalos did not explain his opposition to the highly trained Blue Angels as compared to other military aircraft squadrons. There are several military installations in the San Francisco area, including Moffett Federal Airfield, a former Navy base that is now used by NASA, the California Air National Guard and other tenants.

The Blue Angels fly over San Francisco as part of Fleet Week, an annual outreach event that attracts about 1 million people per year to the city. Similar events are held in other cities, including New York.

DCG