S.F. Mayor reaches out to immigrants in his city

I often take digs at San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, because he is a bit pervy, but today’s L.A. Times has an interesting story about how Newsom is reaching out to immigrants in his city, in a way that Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, himself an immigrant, never has.

Here are a few excerpts from the L.A. Times’ article:

This week, the city launched a campaign featuring TV and radio ads, billboards and bus signs reminding residents of its status as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. The $83,000 blitz will include brochures distributed at police stations and hospitals, promising safe access to city services regardless of residency status.

“We’re inviting people to come out of the shadows and take advantage of services,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. San Francisco has tried to make this point clear for years.

Since it became a sanctuary city in 1989, the city has barred employees from assisting federal officials with immigration investigations or arrests. But Newsom said recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in San Francisco and the Bay Area convinced him the city needed to do more.

City officials wanted to remind illegal workers that the city would not play a part in any possible discrimination they might encounter at the hands of the federal government, the mayor said.

Los Angeles does not consider itself a sanctuary city, but officials say police will not take part in federal immigration raids. “Our officers are not immigration officers,” said Matt Szabo, a spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

San Francisco’s ads — written in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian — encourage residents to seek services and report crimes without fear of being deported.

Newsom, a Democrat who is considering a run for governor in 2010, said he hopes it will have an effect at shelters and psychiatric intake units.

He acknowledged that much of the reaction to the sanctuary program has been negative, attracting even more criticism than his stand on gay marriage.

“We’ve heard from ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ types,” he said. “But we’re convinced that this is the right thing to do.”

Wow! Imagine that. A Mayor trying to do the right thing. That NEVER happens in Santa Ana. Pulido ought to be ashamed of himself. GOP hack Tim Whitacre has often told me that Pulido is “practically a Republican.” When you consider that he supported the onerous Prop. 187 and he appointed a Minuteman to the Library Board, and he ha always supported GOP SAUSD School Board Member Rosie Avila, it is hard to argue with Whitacre’s assertion.

Kudos to Mayor Newsom for stepping up and doing the right thing. I hope that his fellow Democrat, Pulido, takes note.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.