Due to recent attacks on San Francisco’s Sanctuary Ordinance by the San Francisco Chronicle and anti-immigrant groups, Pride at Work, along with a coalition of other LGBTQ and immigrant rights organizations and it’s leaders gathered on Tuesday September 16th at the steps of City Hall to speak OUT to keep San Francisco as a Sanctuary City and to move forward with the Municipal ID program.
In attendance to speak were Renee Saucedo of La Raza Centro Legal, Cecilia Chung of the Human Rights Commision, Staff Attorney for the Trangender Law Center Ben Lunine, EL.LA for Trans Latinas member Aurora, Josue Arguelles staff member of Pride at Work, and representatives for State Senator Carole Migden. Also Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who introduce the original legislation for the Municipal ID program, was present along with Supervisors’ Ross Mirkarimi, Chris Daly, and Gerardo Sandoval.
The preservation of San Francisco as a sanctuary city is vitally important to the LGBTQ community. Every year undocumented immigrants come to the United States fleeing economic and social hardships in their homelands, including persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity expression. San Francisco is home to a diverse and vibrant LGBTQ community that includes many immigrant youth who see this city as a safe haven. It is also home to a diverse transgender community, composed of many undocumented immigrant individuals. As representatives of this marginalized community we do not see it just to halt the very vital Municipal ID program and implement a new policy that would jeopardize housing, job and living status to members of our community.
As an organization fighting for social and economic justice in our communities, we believe that all youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system in San Francisco should be treated equally and that all policies should be consistent with the goals of the juvenile justice system, namely rehabilitation, reunification, safety and the best interest of the minor. We strongly support the implementation of the Municipal ID program. Halting the Municipal ID program would jeopardize the health and safety of undocumented individuals of the transgender community. Sanctuary status in San Francisco is necessary to many undocumented LGBTQ persons and specifically important to transgender Latinos(a).
We are all responsible for providing education and opportunities for undocumented individuals and promoting policies that allow them to fully participate in our communities. While acts of violence do hurt our communities, when these incidents involve individual immigrants they should not be used to discriminate against and punish whole communities.