The 2008 slaying of an Excelsior District man and his two sons in San Francisco, allegedly by an illegal immigrant, roiled ill will towards the city's sanctuary city status.
But now the murders are being held against a candidate for the Board of Supervisors -- in Sonoma County.
A mailer sent out by an independent group calling itself Citizens For Transportation Funding attacks candidate Pam Torliatt for supporting the concept of a sanctuary county. The ad warns: "Pam Torliatt wants to make Sonoma County a sanctuary county for illegal immigrants. Remember how this idea worked in San Francisco?"
The ad includes two clippings of Chron headlines: "Slaying Suspect Once Found Sanctuary in San Francisco," and, "Family Blames Sanctuary Policy in 3 Slayings."
Torliatt's opponent, Petaluma City Council member David Rabbitt, told the Sonoma Press Democrat he had nothing to do with the ad, paid for by business lobbying groups who favor him.
Yet the whole hullaballo shows the continuing influence of the alleged Edwin Ramos murders -- the Trojan horse that began to chip away at San Francisco's sanctuary city status as we knew it.
If you recall, the tragic murders of Tony Bologna and his two sons was the event that forced Mayor Gavin Newsom into an about-face on the long-standing juvenile probation policy of shielding children charged with felonies from immigration officials. A Superior Court judge later ruled that San Francisco could not be held liable for failing to report Ramos, a Salvadorian gang member, to immigration officials in dismissing the lawsuit brought by the Bologna family against the city.
Still, anti-immigration advocates all over the country swooped in to paint the city as a feel-good haven where criminal aliens could run amok. Such anti-immigrant groups as Californians for Population Stabilization launched scare ads asking "Have sanctuary cities taken our compassion too far?"
Two years later, the alleged Ramos murders still have political ramifications for all involved. The fact that District Attorney Kamala Harris will not seek the death penalty against Ramos has been ammunition for those supporting her rival in the race for state attorney general.
But now we see this will be used against pro-sanctuary candidates across the state. Even if Ramos isn't convicted of the murders, he is undoubtedly guilty of screwing over law-abiding immigrants the whole state over.
H/T | Sonoma Press Democrat