The Latest: SF sheriff responds to immigration policy
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on federal officials inmates’ immigration policy (all times local):
San Francisco’s new sheriff says there are open enforcement questions over a new policy that gives federal immigration officials instead of local agencies priority over inmates wanted for deportation.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the policy shift Wednesday less than a year after a man wanted by immigration officials allegedly shot to death 32-year-old Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier. Before the July 2 shooting, Bureau of Prison officials transferred the suspect from a Victorville, California prison to San Francisco, where he was released instead of being deported for a sixth time.
The San Francisco sheriff at the time said he was bound by city laws barring cooperation with federal immigration officials.
Newly elected Sheriff Vicki Hennessy said she awaits details on how the policy will be enforced.
Federal officials say immigration authorities will now get priority over inmates wanted for deportation who are released from federal prison instead of local law enforcement agencies.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday that the Bureau of Prisons will first offer Immigration and Customs Enforcement the option to take inmates facing deportation into custody.
She says local law enforcement agencies seeking to prosecute those inmates on other crimes will have to assure federal officials they will return the inmates to ICE custody once their criminal cases have ended.
Her comments come less than a year after a woman was shot to death on a San Francisco pier, allegedly by a man who had been transferred from a federal prison to San Francisco authorities instead of being referred for deportation.
Messages were left seeking comment from ICE.