San Francisco Sanctuary Champion Sheriff Michael Hennessey to Retire; Good Riddance

Published on April 30th, 2011

In February San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey announced that he will not seek November re-election. Hennessey has been elected eight times and is the longest-serving member among San Francisco’s elected officials. Hennessey will leave behind a sad legacy of aiding and abetting illegal aliens. A year ago, Hennessey helped spearhead a challenge to federal authorities over the Secure Communities DHS program that automatically links state Justice Department databases with a database used by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) thus identifying criminal aliens in U.S. jails. The goal is to deport the most serious offenders. According to CAPS’ Legislative Alert, since 2009 local California law enforcement has transferred over 70,000 illegal aliens to ICE through Secure Communities. Most have criminal records beyond their immigration offenses. The same CAPS alert, however, warned that Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s (D-San Francisco) AB 1081, would undermine Secure Communities’ statewide authority by requiring each county to approve a new resolution to rejoin Secure Communities before it could be applied in that county. On Tuesday, Hennessey traveled to Sacramento to testify in support of Ammiano’s bill. The California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, chaired by Ammiano and controlled by a Democratic majority (5-2), voted to advance debate on whether to allow local communities decide if they want to participate in the so-called Secure Communities program. Hennessey defends himself by avowing that mandatory participation could jeopardize what he refers to as San Francisco’s well-established sanctuary protections for illegal immigrants. Unfortunately, Hennessey is only one of many similar-minded law enforcement officers. The California State Sheriffs’ Association also opposes Secure Communities. Hennessey’s advocacy is a travesty and an insult to law abiding San Franciscans whose city has suffered through countless tragic examples of its sanctuary policy. To name two of the most egregious, as part of a 2008 scandal, investigators learned that San Francisco had given shelter to eight allegedly underage Honduran crack dealers. The ring leaders, by claiming to be minors, avoided deportation. When it was later learned that they were adults, San Francisco sent them to a San Bernardino juvenile hall citing the city’s policy of not turning over aliens to ICE. Days later, all escaped. Less than two months later, a San Francisco father and his two sons were shot to death in a dispute over a minor traffic altercation by a previously-arrested MS-13 gangster. Murdered were Tony Bologna, 49, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. After the outrageous crimes, a Bay Area CBS affiliate took a poll that asked this question: “Should San Francisco turn over convicted illegal immigrants for deportation?” Nearly 80 percent answered “Yes.” Hennessey will soon be out of office. But he’s already done enormous damage. Defeating AB 1081 would be a fitting rebuke to Hennessey’s illegal immigration advocacy and help to curb future alien perpetrated crimes.

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