Immigration Agents Attempt Arrest at Mission District Community Center

Good Samaritan Resource Center at 1294 Potrero Ave. Courtesy of the Good Samaritan Resource Center.

Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement attempted to arrest two people suspected of being undocumented immigrants in the Mission District on Thursday morning, but left with no arrests made.

“ICE agents arrived to our center at about 9:20 a.m. this morning,” said Mario Paz, the executive director of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center at 1294 Potrero Ave. The center sits next to 20 units of housing at 1290 Potrero Ave., and Paz said the immigration agents were looking for two people there.

“An agent entered our center with two papers in hand and asked if two individuals lived here,” he said. “Our staff responded that this is not a residency, that this is a community center.”

The agents then said thank you and stepped outside, going to the apartment complex next door, he said. The property manager was not in, Paz said, and a group of five agents waited for 10 minutes outside the complex before leaving.

Paz said it was no coincidence that the visit occurred the day after President Donald Trump threatened to cut federal funding for sanctuary cities like San Francisco. He said the visit was “sending out a message” to the city.

This is the kind of story that local news can produce because of your support. Become a Mission Local member today.

“Obviously this sort of rattled us, it rattled some of our staff,” he said. “For me this is not necessarily a coincidence that this happened the day after the president’s announcement.”

It is unclear what prompted the attempted raid. Immigration officials routinely carry out arrests nationwide. Paz said this was the first attempted raid at the center in the 10 years he has been director.

An ICE spokesperson confirmed that immigration agents went to a building on Potrero Avenue to “locate a convicted sex offender who was being sought for deportation.” The agents went to the “target’s last known address,” the spokesperson said, and “did not encounter the arrest target.” The agents then left without detaining anyone. 

A search for sex offenders using the state’s Megan’s Law database shows no one listed at 1290 Potrero Ave.

The apartment complex was co-developed by the Mission Housing Development Corporation and Good Samaritan, but the community center has a different entrance than the residential building. The housing units are managed by Caritas Corporation, a subsidiary of Mission Housing.

Sam Moss, the executive director of Mission Housing, said he was still reviewing video of the incident and could not yet comment, but said he immediately reached out to Supervisor Hillary Ronen when he heard of the action.

Mission Housing has been developing a “rapid response” to possible immigration raids on the hundreds of affordable housing units it manages city-wide, he added, including informing tenants of their rights if approached by immigration agents. Moss thought he had more time before a raid occurred, however.

“This happened in San Francisco quicker than I expected,” he said. “That just means we need to ramp up our efforts.”

You may also like:

33 Comments

  1. AbeFroman

    Maybe next time. I’d get used to it, as they’re out actively rounding up criminal illegals that they’ve tried to deport in the past.

  2. Maria Sanchez

    I would think the community would benefit by having a convicted sex offender removed from the communit, no? Why would we want to protect such a person?

    • Furaha Youngblood

      Didn’t you read the entire article where it says that no registered sex offenders are listed at the housing address? This appears to be an attempt to frighten the residents and clients of the Center next door.

      • carlos martinez

        So, if you had information that he was there. you would tptally disregard it? We already know that they would protect the offender. Don’t you think they also checked the web site?

      • William Freigruber

        Ever thought he could be staying there with someone else and not a listed resident ? If it frightens illegal criminals to get out, I say great !

      • moshe abramovitz

        And we know all sex offenders register.

    • Noe

      A search for sex offenders using the state’s Megan’s Law database shows no one listed at 1290 Potrero Ave.Noe

    • Ed T

      It’s likely a fake excuse to prevent outrage, because they know no one likes / will defend a sex offender. There was no one in the sex offenders database at that address.

    • Mar

      There was no sex offender to begin with. Every sex offender is on the Megans Law database. They did it just to be assholes and “give a message”.

    • Lynn Gallup Barry

      This is a way for Donald Trump to tell San Francisco that HE is “king” now, and he will play by only HIS rules… and he will not respect the concept of sanctuary cities. It’s one thing for the feds to withdraw federal funding from sanctuary cities, but what Trump is doing goes FAR beyond that. This is becoming VERY frightening, VERY quickly…..too many things happening simultaneously to keep abreast of……but I suspect that is intentional, and deliberately planned to be overwhelming. God help us all!

      • Bridget Joyce

        R u kidding with GOD SAVE US? U don’t know why they were there. U break the law u deserve to be caught. U r way overreacting! Zeez. I’d hate 2 be around u in an emergency!

      • Daniel Calles

        “he will not respect the concept of sanctuary cities”.
        With regard to federal law, what is the written law regarding “sanctuary cities” and how they are to respond to federal laws?

      • William Freigruber

        No Lynn, it’s Trump saying the American people are now in charge, we will fix the disasters placed on our country and live by the laws of this country. What is becoming frighting is how many people want to disregard some of the laws, they are opposed to, rather than work to change them.

    • Andria

      It said that they searched flr sex offenders and none were found at that address

    • Drra

      How are you able to selectively read only that and not ready the part where there is no convicted sex offender living at that address registered on the website. Read the whole article not just parts you want.

      • Jim vaccarezza

        The article said they went the suspects Last known address. That might account for the listing not to be on the Megan’s law list.

    • Carlos Benavides

      Good question Maria.

    • Jason

      There’s a old saying: “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”

    • Pietro

      There is a double standard when white male college students rape and avoid punishment, an Oklahoma court passes a antiquated and disgusting bill saying that oral sex is not rape if the victim is unconscious, and then the conservatives try to deport immigrants with the excuse that they are sex offenders (not even certain). Most likely this was just an excuse to threaten immigrants in the center of San Francisco which has been a safe place for them for a while. It’s unacceptable. I will protest this and defend people as best I can from this injustice.

  3. Terry Grant

    Maria, did you notice that this article says while ICE claimed to be looking for a convicted sex offender living at 1290 Potrero, there is no sex offender at that address on the CA sex offender data base?
    ICE is not required by Federal law to tell the truth when looking to arrest someone.
    So, what actually happened?

  4. CHRIS JERICHO

    If immigrants are here illegally, what did you expect to happen? ICE agents have the right to ask for documentation of residency because it’s apart of their job. Why is this new to everyone? It’s been done by ICE agents and local police regularly. If an illegal gets arrested, the put a hold on that person to have that person deported. I don’t like some of Trump’s policies or what he stands for but come on people, this policy isn’t new.

  5. Nic

    Maria, perhaps you missed the part where the agents lied about the sex crime. Convicted sex offenders are public information – Megan’s Law website. This is just a sign of things to come. More lies and manipulation to push a white nationalism agenda.

    • Carlos Benavides

      The problem is that anyone can lie.
      ICE could be lying, the sex offender could have lied about his location, someone in the building could have lied for whatever reason.
      We just don’t know.

  6. Karen Kempler

    Even though ICE claimed that a sex offender “lived” at the community center, it wasn’t true. But law enforcement never lies, right?
    This sounds like a ham-handed intimidation tactic by an overzealous agency stymied in a (still) sanctuary city.

  7. Amy Petersen

    my interpretation of this is that ICE is flexing it’s muscle in a Trump presidency. It doesn’t sound like the ML database showed any sex offender living on that block. This sounds like pure intimidation to me. We are a country of immigrants and this is what makes us beautiful and vibrant. #RESIST

    • Robert

      No, not every sex offenders are located in Megan’s law… homeless sex offenders done have an address. They only way it is in Megan’s law computer is if the sex offender registers every year. I figure it was his last address given when he got arrested. You people think that everyone follows the law…. that’s pretty naive of you. Don’t rush to judgement. Sex offenders, drug dealers, robbers, etc… get the hell out of my country. If you illegal and a good productive citizen, your more than welcome to stay. If your a crook, get the hell out.

  8. KIM

    Of course, there’s no sex offender registered at that address. That doesn’t mean the person isn’t living there. If you were both a sex offender and in the country illegally, do you think you’re going to register your location in a database?

  9. Kevin Joseph

    When you immigrate to a country without legal permission, you take the risk of being deported.

  10. Srihari Yamanoor

    Why were the staff rattled? Were they napping through November till the agents showed up and woke them off hibernation? What exactly did they think that the clown brigade would do?

Comments are closed.

Full name required to post. For full details, read our Policy