SF Chronicle: 30 Percent of City's Illegal Immigrant Juveniles Really Adults

Illegal immigration has all but disappeared as an issue on the MSM radar screen since the primaries wrapped up, and it's unlikely to be resurrected given the generally liberal immigration stances of both Sens. McCain and Obama.

Nonetheless, some credit is due to the San Francisco Chronicle for not one but two articlesin the Septmeber 17 paper on the city's so-called sanctuary policy and its problems.

For one thing, 3-out-of-10 juvenile offenders who were not reported to the feds as illegal immigrants under the sanctuary city policy were, well, actually adults, noted reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken:

Nearly 30 percent of the felony offenders San Francisco juvenile justice officials have reported to federal immigration authorities since the city stopped shielding youths from deportation have turned out to be adults, authorities say.

The city's Juvenile Probation Department has referred 58 offenders to federal authorities since Mayor Gavin Newsom announced July 2 that the city no longer would protect youths from deportation under San Francisco's sanctuary law. The mayor took the step after The Chronicle revealed that the city was paying for flights home and $7,000-a-month group homes for underage, undocumented offenders, who as adults could face prison and automatic deportation.

But wait, there's more, as Chronicle staffers Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross noted in a separate article:

It turns out that San Francisco wasn't shielding just juvenile illegal immigrants from deportation if they committed crimes - City Hall officials have discovered that there are 372 convicted adult felons on probation in the city who weren't reported to the feds.

The findings were reported in an audit overseen by the city's incoming probation chief, Patrick Boyd, after Mayor Gavin Newsom asked for a review of how San Francisco's sanctuary law was being implemented in the wake of a series of Chronicle stories describing missteps in the handling of juvenile felony offenders.

City officials repeatedly claimed that adult illegal immigrant felons were being turned over to federal officials - unlike juveniles, who for years were protected under what authorities now concede was a misinterpretation of the sanctuary law.

Officers with the city Probation Department are supposed to include defendants' immigration status in their pre-sentencing reports to judges. But "that policy wasn't being followed," at least not by everybody, Boyd said.

And apparently, no one was checking.

Unfortunately neither Van Derbeken or Matier & Ross noted Newsom's Democratic Party affiliation, but other than that, their reporting on such a critical issue neglected by the mainstream media this election season is welcome.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters