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Protecting illegal youths accused of felonies in SF

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POSTED August 21, 2009 2:22 a.m.
San Francisco Supervisor David Campos is an All American success story.

He came to America as a 14-year-old immigrant. Campos earned scholarships and put himself through Stanford and Harvard Law School.

One other little detail you need to know about the supervisor. Campos came to America as an undocumented immigrant. It gives Campos a unique perspective about illegal immigrants and the contributions they can make to this country.

The fact he was an illegal raises the ire of some. What is really getting people in an uproar about Campos, though, is his proposal to make it more difficult for the City of San Francisco to comply with federal and state laws requiring them to hand over undocumented illegal immigrants arrested on felony charges who are youth to the immigration authorities.

Campos’ plan calls for juveniles who are not legal residents of this country and are arrested for a felony to be convicted before immigration authorities are contacted. The one exception is if youth are charged as adults then it is OK to follow federal and state laws.

You can understand Campos’ viewpoint even if you disagree with it.

However, Campos doesn’t seem to grasp the difference between people who see America as the land where hard work can make dreams come true as opposed to those who want to prey on its people.

It wasn’t too many months ago that an illegal immigrant who was over 18 passed himself off as a juvenile to escape deportation on drug charges. He ended up gunning down a man and his two sons as they returned home to a working class neighborhood in San Francisco after visiting relatives in Fairfield.

That is the most deadly failure of San Francisco’s sanctuary city program that’s yet to be challenged in the courts. There have been other incidents where illegals have lied about their age and were sent to Southern California group homes. Many fled the unsecured homes just as did those illegals that were under age. Many of those who were sent there were guilty of selling drugs including many who worked for notoriously violent gangs.

On the other side of the coin, there is a 16-year-old sitting in a San Francisco detention hall facing deportation for felony graffiti. The judge who convicted him deemed it was a fairly mild case and sentenced him to six months of informal probation. He also required some community service.

Should the 16-year-old tagger be deported?

The answer – though Campos may not like it – is yes.

The kid is here illegally. Whether he likes it or not, felony graffiti is defined by the amount of damage done. This isn’t a jaywalking ticket.

It is reasonable to expect people who are found to be here illegally to be deported.

Reality dictates that it is not a practical move for a variety of reasons to try and determine who is an American citizen or has legal papers without violating the rights of law-abiding citizens. That is why when someone is arrested it should be fair game to check their citizenship status.

Gestapo tactics aren’t being used here. These are people accused of felonies, not misdemeanors. It is what elevates the crime to the level that citizenship status should be challenged regardless of age, race, or language.

California is being crushed under the financial burden of crime and doling out justice. San Francisco has no right to add to that burden by seeking special treatment for a class of its population who aren’t even legal residents.

San Francisco is not an independent nation state. It is part of the United States of America whether Supervisor David Campos likes it or not.

San Francisco is a political division that exists because of the State of California and the United States of America.

It doesn’t exist because of Honduras, Canada, Germany, or India.
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