Seriously... when even the Chronicle - a paper who, at best, is heavily slanted towards amnesty and, at worst, is nothing more than a propaganda arm for open-borders advocates - comes out with an editorial like this, it is cause for at least a little hope.
Sanctuary Has Its Limits
San Francisco is re-examining a fervently held political doctrine. The well-intentioned notion of offering sanctuary for undocumented immigrants has its limits, the city has learned the hard way.
Over the past two decades, the city moved from offering sanctuary for political refugees fleeing wars or repressive governments in Central America to a wider acceptance of all illegal immigrants, whose lives and families would be disrupted if forced to leave.
But two recent scandals have spotlighted excesses that badly needed correcting. It remains to be seen whether city leaders will follow through.
In the first case, Mayor Gavin Newsom was forced to cancel a quiet policy of escorting juvenile lawbreakers out of the country. In some cases, the youths re-entered the country illegally and were arrested again. The program operated at odds with the conventional - and commonsense - practice of referring young drug dealers who are here illegally to federal immigration officials for deportation.
Then, this past week, a praiseworthy job-training program run by District Attorney Kamala Harris was found to contain a serious flaw. At least a half dozen offenders were being schooled for jobs even though none were here legally - and thus were ineligible for the jobs for which they were being trained. Harris has reworked the Back on Track program to bar undocumented immigrants.
Plainly these two city leaders recognize that a ever-widening accommodation of undocumented immigrants has gone too far, though neither took action until negative publicity forced them to make their moves.
The sanctuary policy is not just a matter of humanity - there is a practical crime-solving value for local law enforcement to hold the trust of immigrant communities.
But that potential law-enforcement benefit is lost when a sanctuary city becomes a refuge for criminals. San Francisco's welcome mat must be withdrawn for undocumented immigrants who commit felonies.
Contained in the letters section was D.A. Kamala Harris' half-assed response to the initial story, which was mainly to defend her pet program and only to pay lip service to the immigration and violence issues involved...
District Attorney Harris defends Back on Track
The Chronicle's article about San Francisco's Back on Track initiative painted a distorted picture of this nationally recognized program that has reduced crime and saves money.
Back on Track is an innovative initiative that has achieved remarkable results. It has dramatically reduced recidivism - the re-offense rate - among its targeted population (nonviolent, first-time, low-level drug offenders). In California, more than half (54 percent) of drug offenders commit additional crimes. However, fewer than 10 percent of Back on Track graduates in San Francisco re-offend (of the only 53% who actually graduate). That's why Back on Track was adopted as a national model by the National District Attorneys Association.
In addition to cutting crime, Back on Track is saving taxpayers money. Back on Track costs $5,000 per participant, while taxpayers pay 10 times as much - about $50,000 - to house each inmate in county jail or the state prison. On top of that, taxpayers save even more money because the initiative reduces recidivism - keeping just 25 people from returning to jail for one year saves taxpayers $1.25 million. In a time of catastrophic budget shortages, we desperately need initiatives like this that improve public safety while saving money.
Only nonviolent offenders are eligible for Back on Track. As a veteran prosecutor, I do not hesitate to put people who commit serious and violent offenses behind bars (if only for a few hours).
Eligibility for Back on Track is restricted to individuals who are first-time, nonviolent, low-level offenders with no gang affiliations, no prior convictions and no "ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) holds" that suggest possible immigration issues. No one with an ICE hold has ever been allowed to enter the Back on Track program. Additionally, every participant must prove they are legally eligible to work before they are admitted to the program.
In the program, participants are under close court supervision while undergoing a mandatory, intensive personal responsibility program. They must go back to school, get a job, get current with child support and attend parenting classes. Back on Track combines close supervision and strict accountability - and has proved to save money and reduce crime. Everyday people who are fed up with the petty drug dealers repeatedly coming back to their neighborhoods need solutions that work.
The flaw in the initiative that The Chronicle pointed out was fixed when it came to my attention. No innovative initiative will ever be created without some unanticipated flaws to be fixed along the way, but this must not stop us from tackling tough problems with smart solutions.
KAMALA D. HARRIS
Harris is clearly more concerned about her pet program than any of the people hurt by it. Harris goes on and on about the offenders, with not even one passing mention of the crimes they have committed and the people they have hurt.
And that right there is the crux of the matter: that is the very singular reason why Kamala Harris is a disgrace to her profession, a compete phony and a fraud, and someone who should be kept as far away from the State Attorney General's Office as possible.
You see... Kamala Harris loves criminals.
To someone like her, a criminal is just a person who has been dealt a raw hand, had some troubles, and became desperate. It is only because of bad circumstances that people commit crimes, and that even the most cold-blooded killer is just a human being worthy of our compassion.
And I'm sorry, but that is just plain wrong. It is ethically, morally, intellectually, and spiritually wrong.
Call me old-fashioned... but I believe that a law enforcement officer (and a just society) should have a healthy antipathy towards those who victimize others. To claim otherwise is not "justice." It is putting the criminal and the victim on the same moral footing. And that is seriously fucked up.