Safe in SF

San Francisco's mayor has forbidden city employees from aiding in any federal raids on immigrants, reinforcing the city's status as a sanctuary, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Mayor Gavin Newsome said: "Our action is to stand strong in opposition to these raids... to make sure that we are not contributing in any way, shape or form. Even legal immigrants are fearful. This just sends a chill to a lot of people."

Part of the reason legal immigrants are fearful is that federal officials often arrest people based on faulty evidence -- if they have any at all.

The Chronicle adds: "In the course of serving deportation warrants, the officials said, other people whom officers suspected of being illegal immigrants were questioned and then arrested. Of at least 65 Marin County residents arrested in March, for example, just five had been ordered deported."

Officials like to conduct home raids in the middle of the night, often breaking down doors and dragging people -- parents and children alike -- out of their beds. A man quoted in the Chronicle article recounts how he and his family, including his 4- and 10-year-old daughters -- all legal immigrants -- were lined up against the wall for an hour in their home by federal officers acting on wrong information.

Again, how does one suspect someone of being "illegal"? It's one thing to act on specific information -- though it seems our current shoot-first-ask-questions-last mentality leaves little room for vetting the veracity of such information. It's quite another to arrest people on impulse, just as going to the supermarket for some vanilla to bake your mother a birthday cake, you might snatch up some over-processed junk food for yourself while waiting on line to pay. It looks good, but it's not what you came for -- and should you really have it anyway without reading the back of the package?

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