Gascón Signs Pledge to Protect Immigrants

Flouting Trump, District Attorney signs pledge with Mexico to protect victims and witnesses who are not in the country legally.

James Chan/SF Examiner

The city of San Francisco has already sued President Donald Trump over his executive order that attempts to strip sanctuary cities of their federal funding. Taking things a step further, District Attorney George Gascón signed an agreement on Tuesday, Feb. 28 with Mexican Consul General Gemi José González López pledging that San Francisco would neither report nor enforce deportation for Mexican victims of or witnesses to crimes in San Francisco, regardless of their immigration status.

The agreement is called a Memorandum of Understanding, which is diplomacy-talk for a formal understanding between two parties. The agreement declares that both San Francisco and Mexico will not deport crime victims who are in their country illegally, and calls particular attention to fighting hate crimes against Latinos.

“We’ are facing a national situation that I think is unprecedented,” Gascón said at the signing ceremony. “Not only are immigrants running around scared in our nation today, but other minorities. African Americans, Muslims, and people in our Jewish community are also being targeted.”

The three-page agreement reinforces San Francisco’s sanctuary city status, and declares that San Francisco and Mexico “agree to work towards the larger goal of creating an accessible, coordinated system of comprehensive services for Mexican victims of violent crime in general, and domestic violence, trafficking, and hate crimes, specifically.”

The agreement is non-binding, either side can back out, and It’s just an extension of the policy San Francisco established in 2013. But with $1 billion in federal funding to San Francisco now at risk, the memorandum is a significant declaration of solidarity.

“The relevance of what we’re doing today is greater than it was five years ago,” Gascón said at the signing.

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