The San Francisco Latino Democratic Club (SFLDC) was formed to educate and empower the Latino community regarding social justice and quality of life issues. Our membership applauds Mayor Ed Lee’s reaffirmation of San Francisco’s status as a Sanctuary City despite a Trump presidency that threatens to deport 3 million people in his first 100 days in office as well as to cut federal funding to any city that remains a Sanctuary City. But we need more than words at a press conference, we need to see concrete actions.
The approval of the appropriation of real estate transfer tax funds to help increase funding for community-based nonprofits that assist immigrant populations is a great start. However, we also need funding for the legal representation of immigrants through the Public Defender's Office now. We know that at any given time, there are around 1,500 immigrants facing deportation being detained, and more than 85 percent do not have attorneys. We further understand that funding is available now and awaiting the Mayor’s approval for distribution to the Public Defender’s office so they can hire additional attorneys, paralegals and clerks.
The San Francisco Latino Democratic Club stands with community-based organizations like SFILEN (San Francisco Immigrant and Legal Education Network), SFILDC (San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative), and FREE SF (Full Rights, Equality and Empowerment SF) who also support a universal right to counsel. We all understand that without such attorneys and support staff, many of those threatened with deportation will not have a real chance to win their case.