Gavin Newsom admits he was wrong to report young immigrants to ICE as mayor

By Angela Hart, Sacramento Bee

As mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom in 2008 spearheaded a citywide policy requiring law enforcement officers to report juvenile undocumented immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement when charged with committing violent felony crimes.

Newsom, a Democrat and the frontrunner in the race to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown, now says that was the wrong approach.

“These were people charged … but not convicted. Some people ultimately were exonerated that got caught up in it,“ Newsom said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. “I’ll just say this to my critics: Fair game. Looking back, there were things we could have done differently. I’m very honest about that.”

His comments come amid Democratic outrage over President Donald Trump’s policy, since reversed, of separating immigrant children from their families upon entering the country. Newsom has sought to position himself as best-suited to lead California as it wages war on the president and his immigration policies.

In retrospect, the focus should have been on those convicted, not charged with violent felonies, he suggested.

In the interview, Newsom characterized his policy of reporting juveniles to ICE as a compromise to protect San Francisco’s “sanctuary” ordinance, which forbids the city from using its resources to aid federal immigration agents except in criminal cases. He said the sanctuary law — the first of any city in the nation — was threatened, under intense scrutiny following the killing of a San Francisco man and his two sons by an undocumented immigrant and MS-13 gang member from El Salvador.

 

Read more at the Mercury News