SF Ordinance Limiting Responses to ICE Holds Goes into Effect

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Due Process for All Ordinance went into effect Friday, limiting responses by local law enforcement to immigration hold requests. The ordinance was signed last month after two unanimous votes by the Board of Supervisors.

While most counties other than San Francisco and Santa Clara currently lack any protections from abusive immigration holds, that will change on Jan. 1, 2014, when the TRUST Act (AB 4) goes into effect across California. That bill will establish a minimum standard limiting responses to ICE hold requests across the state.

Under the San Francisco Due Process Ordinance, local law enforcement responses to ICE hold requests are only allowed where a person has both a prior conviction for certain felonies within the past seven years, and also faces a current charge under one of those statutes if a judge has found probable cause for such charge. Even in those circumstances, the Sheriff may consider positive equities such as rehabilitation and community contribution. These exceptions are to "sunset" within three years or upon the approval of national comprehensive immigration reform, whichever is sooner. In addition, under the ordinance, local law enforcement cannot respond to any ICE hold requests for individuals under 18.