San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission
Full Commission Meeting
Monday, May 11 2009 at 5:30 PM
City Hall, Hearing Room 416
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
The meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm by Chair Dajani.
Present: Commissioners Dajani, Fuentes, Chew, Enssani, Gonzalez, Haile, Jones, McCarthy, Mok, Moses, Pérez, Punongbayan and Silva
Not Present: Commissioners Alexander (excused) and Ng (excused)
Staff Present: Adrienne Pon, Executive Director-OCEIA; Tomás Lee, Senior Analyst; Sally Leung, Executive Coordinator; and Whitney Chiao, Public Administration Intern
2. Presentation on Federal Immigration Policy Reform
a. Aarti Kohli, Director of Immigration Policy, and Legislative Counsel, Chief Justice Earl
Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity, Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley
Ms. Kohli began her presentation on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by
discussing issues with the current program. One issue is that ICE defines a fugitive as
someone who is not registered with the Department of Homeland Security. However,
since their database is outdated, many people are mistakenly labeled as fugitives.
Furthermore, it has been documented that fear caused by ICE raids adversely impact
the community, such as causing a drop in school attendance.
Ms. Kohli proposed that the Immigrant Rights Commission speak with the local ICE
office asking them to change their policies at the federal level. The first suggestion is to ask ICE to prioritize immigrants who are a high threat level and base raids on evidence from intelligence and investigation. Another suggestion is to request ICE to be more forthcoming and release data on captured immigrants. If ICE raids are not addressed, there may be an inaccurate population count during the 2010 Census because people will not complete the census accurately.
b. Bill Ong Hing, Professor of Law and Asian American Studies, UC Davis and Founder,
Immigrant Legal Resource Center of SF
Professor Hing provided information on how employer sanctions have deviated from their original purpose and the issue of immigration at the federal level has shifted to the right, as the budget for border protection and ICE enforcement has recently increased. ICE raids are enabled because employer sanctions exist and consequently victimize workers rather than regulate employers. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security will go to a worksite with no match, go through employee files and find questionable documents. The proper course of action would be to return employment sanction laws to their original purpose, and enforce minimum wage, OSHA, discrimination, health and safety laws. Professor Hing recommended allowing third party verification instead of repealing employment sanctions.
c. Nadeen Elshorafa, Activist, General Union of Palestinian Students (invited)- Ms.
Elshorafa was unable to attend.
3. Public Comment on matters appearing on the agenda
There was no public comment.
The full Commission meeting minutes from the March 9, 2009 meeting were added to the binder for the meeting and will be approved at the next full Commission meeting.
Chair Dajani announced that this is his last meeting as IRC chair and Commissioner. Effective May 18, 2009, he will be moving to the Human Rights Commission. He has been part of the IRC for four years, serving as chair for one year and seeing the commission develop from an unknown entity to making headlines in the San Francisco Chronicle. He hopes to continue to raise awareness on immigrant issues at the Human Rights Commission. Commissioner Fuentes, currently Vice Chair, is the interim IRC chair until a new chair is elected. Two other commissioners announced that they will not be renewing their terms: Commissioner Punongbayan, whose term ends on June 6, 2009, and Commissioner Mok, who is moving to a different commission.
5. Discussion, Information & Action: Summary and Next Steps from April 13, 2009 Joint
Hearing on Impacts of Federal Immigration Enforcement Policy
a. Chair’s Summary Report
Chair Dajani would like to thank the everyone from the Office of Civic Engagement and
Immigrant Affairs and the Human Rights Commission for their help in running the
hearing smoothly and for making it a big success. He and Executive Director Pon have
met with the HRC Commission Chair and Executive Director to discuss the progress of
the report from the hearing. The Human Rights Commission is still looking into acquiring a transcript of the hearing.
b. Written Report & Resolutions
As discussed at the Executive Committee meeting on April 22, 2009, the committee would like to create a joint report with the Human Rights Commission. However, because the joint report requires the efforts of two committees, IRC would like to maintain momentum by writing a separate report and resolutions from the hearing. Because the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs has limited staff, the Commission suggested creating an ad hoc committee to address concerns that were raised at the hearing.
The Immigrant Rights Commission would like to also draft broad resolutions to help the largest group possible and do so in conjunction with the report. The Commission will draft a resolution to eliminate racial profiling from employment sanctions and another resolution to cease the confiscation of identification.
c. Individual Case Follow-Up
The Commission will follow up on cases that demonstrate violations of the Sanctuary City Ordinance, which the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs is responsible for enforcing. Since the HRC has different jurisdiction, they have prioritized the testimony on the housing situation and the employee situation at Moscone. However, Commissioner Pérez noted that they do not have jurisdiction over the Moscone case because the immigration status of former employees are not protected.
Motion to accept report, seconded and approved unanimously (Gonzalez/Jones).
Motion was approved.
6. Discussion, Information & Action: Adoption of Resolution on 2010 Census Complete and Inclusive Count of San Francisco’s Underserved Populations (Commissioner Gonzalez)
Motion to adopt resolution with the following corrections: “U.S. Census Bureau”, not “U.C Census Bureau” on line 23 of page 1, insertion of “Whereas” to line 10 of page 2, and “Office of House” not “Office of Senate” in line 24 of page 2. Motion to adopt resolution, seconded and approved unanimously (Punongbayan/Pérez).
7. Discussion, Information & Action: October 5, 2009 Excelsior Neighborhood Meeting
a. Update by Program and Access Committee
The committee is working with Supervisor Avalos to organize the Neighborhood meeting. Since he is also currently working with the Budget Committee to handle the budget crisis, the Committee would like to move the meeting to October 5, 2009, in lieu of the full Commission meeting. The committee has begun discussing the logistics with Supervisor Avalos, such as security and securing venues as well as considering how to promote the meeting.
Motion to reschedule the Excelsior Neighborhood Meeting to October 5, 2009, seconded and approved unanimously (Chew/Enssani).
8. Information, Discussion & Action: Adoption of Executive Director’s Report
a. IRC Updates: Commissioners Enssani and Jones have been reelected by the Board of Supervisors, and six positions on the commission will be up for reappointment on June 6, 2009. In order to be considered for the position, all candidates, including incumbents, must complete the application available on the Board of Supervisors website and apply for a specific commission seat. Applicants will then be reviewed by the Rules Committee. Commissioners may be help over past their terms until notified.
b. Amendments to the EAS Ordinance were introduced by Supervisor Chiu on April 24 at the Rules Committee and are moving through the 30 day process. Staff will update the Commission when this item is calendared for the full Board.
c. Census Updates: IRC is well-represented on the Complete Count Committee which will be announced later this month by the Mayor. IRC commissioners will have opportunities to be involved in the 2010 Census efforts such as subcommittees and providing recommendations. It is beneficial for the Complete Count Committee to work with the IRC, as there are challenges with the historic undercount of immigrant, poor, non- English speaking populations and children under 10 years old, as well as ensuring confidentiality of the information provided during the Census.
d. OCEIA Updates: The office is in the final stage of its physical makeover and is excited to be taking on new volunteer interns during the summer and fall. The office is also very busy handling requests from the Mayor and other departments, as well as working on the website. The director would like to remind Commissioners who still do not have their biographies posted on the website that they may submit a draft to the Director by the end of the week.
Motion to adopt the Executive Director’s Report, seconded and approved unanimously (Moses/Gonzalez).
9. Information, Discussion & Action: Adoption of Committee Reports
a. Executive Committee- The committee is devoting attention to creating a report from the joint hearing. Procedurally, if commissioners have recommendations for the monthly meeting agenda, they should contact the Executive Committee beforehand.
b. Program & Access Committee-No new updates.
c. Outreach Committee- For future neighborhood meetings, they will work on improving translation services, as well as addressing the issue of security.
d. Immigration Reform Committee- The committee is working on an ambitious panel dialogue on Immigration Policy Reform for September 1, 2009 at the Koret Auditorium. The panel discussion will be in the form of an academic debate. Committee members are working on speakers and the possibility of televising the event. Commissioner Silva was added to the committee and standing meeting dates are now the third Monday of each month.
Motion to adopt committee reports, seconded and approved unanimously
The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 pm by Chair Dajani.