by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Liberals are attacking a San Francisco lawmaker’s plan to deport fentanyl-dealing illegal aliens, arguing it would make immigrant communities distrust the city.
Supervisor Matt Dorsey on Tuesday introduced legislation that would amend San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” laws to make illegal immigrants caught dealing fentanyl eligible for deportation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Experts say most of the fentanyl in San Francisco, which has killed more than 1,400 residents since 2020, is dealt by illegal immigrants from Honduras.
The bill’s rationale seems lost on progressives, who rushed to condemn Dorsey for his proposal. University of San Francisco migration law professor Bill Hing told the Chronicle the proposal would have a “chilling effect” on all immigrants and that the city “should not be in the business of facilitating the deportation of its residents.”
At the moment, city authorities are only permitted to flag for deportation illegal immigrants convicted of certain violent crimes, including rape, murder, and arson.
Del Seymour, an advocate from the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood, argued that the illegal immigrants are selling the drug because they have no other options. Fentanyl dealers have largely taken over the streets in the Tenderloin, which is the epicenter of fentanyl dealing in San Francisco.
Activists aren’t the only ones blocking attempts at reform. San Francisco courts have repeatedly blocked District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’s efforts to secure pretrial detentions for some of the city’s most dangerous fentanyl dealers, letting the offenders walk free instead.
The debate around San Francisco’s sanctuary city laws came to a head in 2015 after an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times shot and killed a 32-year-old woman. The man, Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate, was sentenced in June 2022 to time served on gun charges stemming from the murder.