SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --If San Francisco Board of Supervisors pass a bill, the city's sanctuary city law could further restrict police from turning over undocumented immigrants to federal officials.
Under existing law, San Francisco police and sheriff's deputies can't even detain undocumented immigrants from federal officials for most circumstances.
The ordinance made it out of committee Thursday afternoon and it now heads to the full board of supervisors.
Supporters said it would have made a difference in the case of Pedro Figueroa, an undocumented immigrant picked up by ICE who got a police tip before he showed up to get his stolen car. "The fact that I asked for help and instead I was harmed by the police is something that is really, really hard for me to share," Figueroa said.
It probably would not have made a difference in the killing of Kate Steinle, who was allegedly shot by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times. It became a national issue when Donald Trump picked up on it in one of his anti-immigration rants. "We saw trumped up hysteria at the national level that affected people in San Francisco," San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos said.
But the reason the bill would not have kept Francisco Lopez-Sanchez from firing the shot that killed Steinle is in the measure's first sentence saying: "It "prohibits detaining individuals on the basis of a federal civil immigration detainer unless that individual has been convicted of a violent felony in the seven years prior."
Lopez-Sanchez did not have a history of violence and the seven year standard is the only one police can use. "We want to set one clear standard for when we will allow local law enforcement to talk with ICE, federal immigration officials," Avalos said.
Avalos said not putting a firewall between local police and federal officials feeds mistrust between cops and immigrant communities.
However, a Republican activist and immigration specialist said the city should keep its nose out of immigration. "We don't need the city of San Francisco to dictate what the federal government should be doing or not doing. We need the city of San Francisco do be doing what they were elected for,repairing these outrages streets and fixing the problems that the community needs," California Association of Immigration Consultants specialist Leo Lacayo said.