Of those, 22 have prior felony convictions, and 15 have previously been
deported from the United States. SF Weekly requested the
statistics from Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thursday.
The Secure Communities program started here on June 8. Sheriff Mike Hennessey had asked State Attorney General Jerry Brown for
permission to opt out of the program, arguing it was a violation of San Francisco's sanctuary city ordinance. Brown told him tough luck.
aliens" identified in the first days of implementation, eight have previously been convicted of
"Level 1" offenses, such as homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major
drug offenses and threats to national security, according to the ICE.
An ICE press release played up four cases of nabbing hardened criminals as Secure Communities success stories. Yet Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Eileen Hirst says these four people would have been reported to ICE anyways under the old sanctuary city policy -- since they all were either booked on felonies or had prior felony convictions. The sheriff's department is continuing to alert ICE of those accused criminals as it did before the implementation of Secure Communities, she says.
The synopses of those four people:
selling pot. Checking his fingerprints "revealed that the individual was
illegally in the United States and has used at least 13 aliases. His
extensive criminals history includes 12 convictions for which he was
sentenced to a total of 22 years for theft, drug possession and
distribution, and escaping from custody," according to the release.
selling a controlled substance, among other offenses. Checking his
fingerprints revealed "a history of major drug crimes and multiple
immigration violations, including five prior removals from the United
and the check turned up that the man was here illegally and had
previously been deported. "The individual has used at least six aliases
and has been convicted of corporal injury of a spouse and has multiple
a controlled substance with intent to sell. The fingerprint check
showed that he was in the country illegally and had been been deported
before. The man "has used at least four aliases and has multiple
four as soon as their criminal proceedings are completed.
Secure Communities only detects people who have a fingerprint on record with ICE. In addition to the 29 detected this way in those nine days, there were 19 others booked into jail who received an ICE hold. ICE had found out about them by other means, including jail interviews or the sheriff's department reporting them, says ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Sheriff's Department implemented the Secure Communities program. Instead, the DHS launched Secure Communities in San Francisco as part of the national roll-out of the program, and the Sheriff's Department had no way of opting out of the process.