By SHIKIRI HIGHTOWER

The Board of Supervisors sent a strong message protecting the rights of undocumented children Tuesday night by passing a resolution by an 8-to-3 vote in favor of adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

District 9 Supervisor David Campos introduced the resolution by acknowledging Cesar Chavez.

“Today is Cesar Chavez’s birthday. Let’s give him the gift that every child will be protected and respected,” he said as some in the crowd clapped.

Mayor Gavin Newsom changed the city’s policy on undocumented youth last year so that when an undocumented minor is arrested the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, is informed and the juvenile is often deported.

Public defender Jeff Adachi testified at the meeting that this process takes away the presumption of innocence.

Although the resolution is nonbinding, the supervisors want ICE involved only after a juvenile is convicted.

“We don’t want the reporting to happen unless there is an actual conviction of a youth,” said Supervisor Campos. “We recognize that some of the youth that may be booked under something may actually end up being innocent. We want to provide due process.”

The Convention has 54 articles and includes multiple references to fairness and the best interests of the child. “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration,” Article 3 states.

The resolution came about because of concerns about police treatment of undocumented minors.

“Cases are charged up,” said Supervisor Bevan Dufty, referring to the practice of charging suspects with more serious charges then they are eventually convicted of. “The police have an enormous amount of discretion in booking and charging. The current way is fundamentally unfair.”

Dufty said police book suspects on felony charges, and many are later convicted of misdemeanors.

“There are fundamental differences in opinion in the kind of system we have,” said Campos.

Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, Carmen Chu and Michela Alioto-Pier opposed the resolution.

“I want to ensure we’re doing it the right way,” said Alioto-Pier.

Some members of the community spoke in support of the passage of the resolution.

“There’s systematic racial profiling going on in this country,” said Evelyn Sanchez of the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Defense Committee. “Due process is being violated. Human and city rights are being violated,” said the Mission District resident. After the meeting she was pleased with the board’s vote.

“It feels empowering to know that these community actions do have impact, that they can influence decision makers who have the ability to create and change laws to help benefit and protect the community,” said Sanchez.

According to policy, if eight members of the board introduce and pass a resolution it cannot be vetoed.

“I think it’s very powerful not only that it’s a majority of the board but it’s actually eight supervisors—the magic number eight,” said Campos.

After the meeting Campos said it was fitting for this to happen on Cesar Chavez’s birthday.

“I think his spirit was in the room,” said Campos. “Progressives are in control.”

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5 Comments

  1. Anybody who violates Immigration laws, which includes left winger Gavin Newsom should be incarcerated. He is already indirectly responsible for the cold blooded triple murder of Tony Bologna and his sons Michael and Matthew an illegal national sheltered under the “Sanctuary city policy” of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

    Seeing how the Democratic leadership secretly stripped E-Verify from the Stimulus/Omnibus bill. We–THE PEOPLE should demand that we utilize the Census, to extract millions of illegal aliens from this nation. As the Dept of Commerce, The Census are recruiting census takers, Homeland Security should start recruiting police using 247 (g) program to arrest and detain all irregular census names and addresses.

    Sen. Harry Reid has become recognized with utter distaste and arrogance, because of his attitude to the American Worker. Americans have no trust in Senator Harry Reid, or his co-conspirator that includes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or Dianne Feinstein. The inception of the first “Sanctuary Policy” was Feinstein’s and now California is overloaded with illegal aliens. They are all catering to the open border–Special Interest lobby. That’s why they killed E-Verify? A very efficient tool to remove Illegal aliens from the workplace. However E-Verify is still funded till September, and Reid, Pelosi better hope it is revitalized or–THEIR–jobs are on the chopping block.

    If these lawmakers were interested in assisting the American worker, why would Homeland security chief suppress ICE raids? Read their awful immigration grades at NUMBERSUSA. Call Washington to stop this travesty; 202-224-3121 We must also ask the question? Is the illegal immigration situation causing nationwide taxes to escalate? Federal law demands we pay for their health care, education and selective benefits.

    With a new AMNESTY in the pipeline. Should it pass? That means more money out of your taxes. To pay for millions more, who are sure to come? This includes the whole family circle they can sponsor? Old, young, sick, mentally handicapped will get SSI, benefits–without ever paying into Social Security. KICK THEM OUT!

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