More than half of Bay Area opposes crackdown on immigrants, new poll says

SAN FRANCISCO -- More than half of the Bay Area's voters disagree with the federal crackdown on undocumented immigrants, according to a Bay Area Council poll released on Saturday.

Of the 1,000 registered voters in the nine-county Bay Area who took the poll in March and April, 55 percent disagree with the crackdown. Twenty-eight percent favor the crackdown and 17 percent are undecided.

"Regardless of what side of the immigration debate you're on, there's just one thing to know: Our immigration system is broken," said Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman in a statement. The council is a business association founded in 1945 dedicated to solving the area's problems.

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Wunderman called for immigration reform, saying that immigrants "continue to be valuable contributors to our economy."

While 80 percent of Republicans who took the poll favor cracking down on immigrants, 76 percent of Democrats disagree. San Francisco led the area in opposition at 70 percent, while Contra Costa County voters showed the least opposition at 47 percent.

The study was released on the same day as an interfaith prayer vigil was planned for detained immigrants at the West County Detention Center in Richmond, located in Contra Costa County.

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"As children are being separated from parents at the border, community and faith leaders will gather in prayer and protest highlighting local families long separated," organizers from the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity said in a statement.

The Interfaith Movement is highlighting the case of Raul Lopez, a Guatemalan national who has lived in the United States for decades and has been separated from his wife and four children for more than a year. Lopez is jailed at the Richmond detention center.

His wife Dianeth Lopez said he had a pending immigration case but made the mistake of driving under the influence of alcohol. Raul Lopez was subsequently placed on house arrest and also spent two months in jail for the DUI case. In March 2017 when he went to a check-in appointment at the San Francisco ICE office, he was taken into custody and has remained jailed since.

"We really want to help this man who has been here for 29 years, who has no family in Guatemala to return to," said Rev. Deborah Lee, executive director for Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. "He absolutely has to be allowed to stay right here with his family where he belongs."
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