cityhall3.jpgA Democratic congressman from Illinois joined San Francisco city officials and community members outside City Hall Wednesday to call on President Obama to fix what they called a dysfunctional and unfair immigration system.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez joined Supervisors David Campos, David Chiu and John Avalos as part of his “Change Takes Courage” tour of at least 20 cities around the U.S. to encourage the president to stop the deportations of undocumented immigrants who have caused no harm in the country.

Gutierrez and the other officials criticized “Secure Communities,” a federal program that requires fingerprints of those booked into local jails to be shared with federal immigration authorities.

The program “was supposed to rid (the country of) the most serious criminals,” Gutierrez said, but of the people “it’s picking up, the majority, have absolutely no criminal background.”

Norma, a San Francisco resident who did not want to give her last name, said through a translator that she got swept up in the Secure Communities program because she called police in October to report that she was the victim of domestic violence.

Her partner also accused her of hitting him, and she was taken into custody and is now in deportation proceedings.

“I have a lot of fear,” said Norma, who has a young son. “The Secure Communities program has not made me secure … but I hope the experience with me can help serve others in a similar situation.”

Avalos said Norma’s story was an example of how the program is causing “a chilling effect throughout the community” and is actually making it less safe.

Campos was among the speakers at Wednesday’s event who said San Francisco was a unique stop on Gutierrez’s tour because it highlights the effect federal immigration policies have on gay and lesbian members of the community, and he encouraged LGBT and immigrant groups to work together.

“The violation of someone’s rights is discrimination no matter what the reason,” he said. “We’re all in this together.

Gutierrez called on Obama to use his executive authority to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants, particularly students who would have been eligible for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act.

The legislation, which would allow certain undocumented students who arrived in the U.S. as minors and were enlisted in a four-year college or the military to stay in the country, was passed by the House but died in the Senate in December.

“Use the executive authority you already have,” Gutierrez said.

“Stop these ugly, vicious raids.”

The congressman will continue his tour in St. Helena and Oakland on Thursday before traveling to Southern California at the end of the week.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • Brittanicus

    The majority of the legal American people don’t care if it’s the Queen of England or the Entourage who are defending the illegal immigrant occupation in this nation. Any ignoramus speeches from celebrities are not going to alter anything, as the Citizens and those who were processed legally want the laws enforced. The Church has already poked their nose in, where it doesn’t belong; mainly the Catholic religion, as most illegal aliens from South of the border feed their treasury and keep the pews filled. On a similar collision course is the Trade Union, as the SEIU, that the big bosses who have large numbers of illegal aliens paying dues, so they are fighting to keep these people in America.

    Why is the “Rule of Law” not adequate for the Liberal Czarists in the Obama administration, but they can intimidate the State of Arizona by dragging them to court. It seems remote that this legally correct for UTAH, to enact its own Guest worker program. Utah will be noticeably joining the other Sanctuary States of California and Nevada. These two states have high illegal alien concentrations and out-of-control State general public deficits. California is drowning in a Gov. Jerry Brown’s massive 26 billion dollar debt, followed by Senator Harry Reid’s Nevada with roughly $3 Billion. Reid was the perpetrator who eroded E-Verify, the illegal immigrant electronic business verification system; stripping E-Verify of its mandate. How many more States will be overrun by millions of illegal immigrants, running from the restrictive States of Arizona, claiming they have no need to halt the encroachment?

    Hopefully, I do hope the citizens and legal residents, who will be financially harmed, will throw out the lawmakers who decided to do nothing? As they did in California and Nevada, who are now paying a heavy penalty, as even more economic foreigners start stealing jobs, compliments of dishonest businesses and then applying for public benefits with stolen ID. Then all the children of illegal parents crowding into school classrooms, and whole extended families filling up seats in the hospital emergency rooms will be slowed to a dribble. The story is the same throughout this country and the only hope we have to not prolong this sick carnival is by joining the nearest TEA PARTY. We must rid ourselves of Liberal, Democrats and Republicans who stealthily would arrange amnesties, behind the public’s back. There are many good Presidential candidates who have the TEA PARTY agenda at heart, which will rid us of this unconscionable epidemic of this alien invasion.

    This nation is crippled by entitlement programs, which has escalated the national deficit to 14.5 trillion dollars. Thanks to decades of uncontrolled spending, we can no longer afford the money expended on the world, or illegal immigrants flocking here. Billions go every year to foothold children, brought into America by poor families in every corner of each hemisphere. The costs must be reversed now, not later as we are heading to a monetary swamp, where America’s credit will be further downgraded by Standard and Poor. Before we reach the debt ceiling, we must force on our reluctant politicians cuts in discretionary spending and every niche of the ever growing government agencies. Many could be merged with others federal entities and all pseudo offices could be closed down. The country is broke and we are fighting wars for other countries.

    We should open up new drilling areas, including Anwar, Alaska. I only one of millions of moderate Conservatives who demand not being dictated to by environmentalist who have overwhelmed sane citizens, enforcing such laws as the endangered Species Act. Relocate the wild creatures along the border, or places where they can drill for precious oil. Give Communist China, Mexico an ultimatum that they play by the free trade agreement rules or the TEA PARTY leaders will renegotiate them. Whatever issue is involved such as Oil, Free trade treaties it smells of corruption. Every defense contract, construction of the border