Immigrant Life


Gascon declines to file charges against cops in shootings

San Francisco’s District Attorney will not be filing criminal charges against officers involved in two separate shootings that led to the deaths of Luis Gongora Pat and Mario Woods. D.A. Gascon said in a statement that “use of force could only be charged if we can prove it was unreasonable for the officer to be in fear for their life...

SF’s limited-English sexual assault victims among the most ignored

Nearly three years have passed since Dora Mejia filed a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco that exposed the barriers many monolingual sexual assault victims experience when interacting with the SFPD, but advocates say the problems still remain. Mejia was arrested after her ex-partner sexually assaulted her in a Mission District apartment in 2014. He left the apartment, called...

Furniture refinishers pack up to leave SF Mission

Come January, you won’t be able to take your water-stained, dinged-up or weathered wooden furniture to Alabama Street for rejuvenation anymore. J&L Refinishing Corp, on Alabama Street between 19th and 20th streets since 1988, will be packing up ahead of its deadline to leave — the company has been asked to vacate by the end of February. While Jia Yan,...

In Ed Lee, Mission leaders saw an immigrant ally who couldn’t quell a crisis

The neighborhood best known for its immigrant Latino community and culture had an ally in Mayor Ed Lee — but the alliance was strained by the fallout of Lee’s well-intentioned business and development policies. Mission nonprofit leaders, like everyone else who came into contact with him, remembered San Francisco’s late Mayor Ed Lee as almost an anti-politician: humble, gentle, considerate....

After decision to end protections for some immigrants, advocates push back

The Trump administration’s decision Monday to end temporary protections for Nicaraguans has put hundreds of thousands of other Central American immigrants on edge. Advocates urged all residents on temporary protected status to look at ways in which they might become permanent immigrants. “We’re calling all TPS holders from all 13 countries, as well as Dreamers, to continue to seek legal...

DACA renewal fund reaches $3 million, thousands can still get help with renewal

A DACA renewal fund set up earlier this month by the Mission Asset Fund has gathered $3 million to help pay the fees of DACA recipients who are renewing their permits. That’s enough to pay for $6,000 application fees, and 4,000 people have already taken advantage of the fund. Two thousand opportunities (scholarships, as Mission Asset Fund is calling them)...

City to assist with and pay for DACA renewals this weekend

When federal officials announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA, they did leave room for some limited renewals for eligible recipients. This Saturday, the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs will host a renewal workshop at Mission High School, and is even offering to pay applicants’ $495 renewal fees....

A store owner and hot dog vendor refuse to give up

A tiny bark welcomes you into Productos Naturales Georgina’s at 2286 Mission Street. Popi, a small Chihuahua, sits behind the counter in his FBI sweater. “He’s my guard,” says Georgina, the owner. “He lets me know whenever anyone comes into the store when I’m in the back. I have avoided being robbed countless times because of him.” “I stocked this...

For one vendor the street is both home and business

Abdiel Avila, 58, sets up on Mission Street every morning. He spreads a blanket out beneath the shade of a tree near 17th Street and pulls out watches, chargers, shoes, backpacks, movies, bike seats, and whatever has come his way. Once, he even tried to sell a dog someone gave him. On a good day, he says, he can make...

Rumors of citizenship troubles keep immigrants from getting legal benefits

Immigrants who can’t afford to feed their families are facing hunger rather than accepting benefits that rumors tell them could put their hopes of becoming citizens in jeopardy, according to immigration attorneys and those who work with food benefits. “We have asylum seekers who are in homeless shelters and they haven’t accessed benefits because they’re afraid it’ll affect their case,”...

Coalition asks city to fund Latino success

San Francisco’s Latino population struggles disproportionately in key areas that determine success and stability, said a coalition of nonprofits that serve low-income Latino communities around the city. The groups, under the name San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition, are calling for more funding to go to services for struggling Latino families. The coalition held a press conference Wednesday highlighting...

Activists convince Mission Language and Vocational School to back out of property deal

Neighborhood organizations are mobilizing to renegotiate a deal struck years ago – and recently upheld in binding arbitration –  to save the Mission Language and Vocational School from what was then looming financial ruin. That 2013 deal, made with Huckleberry Friends, which promotes science and engineering education for youth, was a lease with an option to buy the leased portion...

Workers, immigrants, rally for May Day

In a demonstration of solidarity with worker and immigrant rights activists around the nation, protesters streamed onto Market Street and into Civic Center Plaza on Monday to mark May Day, also known as International Workers Day. Locally, it was also pronounced a Day Without Immigrants to protest federal immigration policies. Thousands marched down Market Street, according to police estimates, and hundreds...

Immigrants around the Mission close their businesses for day of protest

On a day workers around the world have traditionally marked as a day to protest for labor rights, immigrants have added their voices, or rather their absence, to make a point. On May 1, or May Day, many around the Bay Area and the Mission closed up shop for a day without immigrants. “I want to support my community,” said Robert Sanchez,...

Listen Local: A primer on SF as a Sanctuary City and its future

Listen Local is Mission Local’s biweekly radio program. We broadcast live online at BFF.fm every other Thursday morning from 9:30 to 10:00. Saira Hussain, a staff attorney at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice / Asian Law Caucus, joins us to go into the details of what being a Sanctuary City means, specifically in San Francisco. No, it doesn’t mean ICE can’t...