San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed two resolutions today encouraging the federal government to reduce its military budget and also encouraging the city to ignore federal requests to hold suspected illegal immigrants.
Both resolutions, which are non-binding, were passed 8-3 at this afternoon’s meeting, with Supervisors Carmen Chu, Sean Elsbernd and Mark Farrell providing the three opposing votes in each case.
Secure Communities, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement fingerprint-reporting program aimed at people housed in local jails who are suspected of being in the country illegally, was the target of one of the two resolutions.
The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department has made it a policy to ignore the requests to detain people suspected of low-level misdemeanors, and the resolution approved today expressed support for that policy.
The program “doesn’t make our community safer, in fact it makes our community less safe,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, a sponsor of the resolution.
Mar said the resolution “simply ensures that we minimize the entanglement with ICE agents” and saves the city the costs of detaining offenders who would otherwise be set free.
The other resolution, which addressed the U.S. military budget, noted that about 58 cents of every federal discretionary dollar is spent on past, current and possible future military costs, which add up to a Pentagon budget of more than $700 billion in the most recent fiscal year.
Noting the cost in dollars as well as lives–more than 6,000 combined in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars–and increasing cuts in domestic spending on vital programs, the resolution “calls upon California’s Congressional delegation to promote federal legislative action to reduce the military budget significantly.”
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News