Sheriff Mirkarimi to Mayor Lee: “Finger Pointing Serves No Purpose”

On Tuesday, Mayor Ed Lee sent Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi a letter stating, “Law enforcement may notify federal officials when a particular individual is set for release in certain circumstances.” The letter was a clear reprimand for the Sheriff’s Department’s refusal to notify federal immigration authorities of the release of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the undocumented Mexican national accused of killing Kate Steinle on Pier 14.

San Francisco’s now controversial Sanctuary City ordinance generally prevents city officials from communicating with federal authorities about an individual's immigration status or to assist federal authorities in arresting immigrants. 

As Kron 4 reports, Sheriff Mirkarimi today sent a response to the Mayor, in which he called for a Board of Supervisors committee meeting to achieve clarity on this issue.

[jump] “Finger pointing around this tragedy serves no purpose other than election year politics,” Mirkarimi wrote, adding, “Your request to rescind the policy and require the SFSD to contact federal immigration officials would eviscerate the city’s Due Process For All Ordinance, an ordinance I supported and which you signed into law.”

Mirkarimi also stated that the only reason for his department to notify federal immigration authorities of a detainee’s release would be to facilitate federal custody of that detainee.

“This would completely circumvent the requirements and intent of the Sanctuary City Ordinance, the Due Process For All Ordinance and lead to unconstitutional detentions,” Mirkarimi wrote.

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