San Francisco police officers handcuffed a car-theft victim, ran his name for warrants and then released him into the waiting arms of federal immigration agents, records show, in what is being investigated as a possible breach of local sanctuary-city laws.

Racism and discrimination are not the same thing, even though both are similar, and both are wrong.

I don't think they did it out of racism, but they did incur in discriminatory behavior. Why? Because they conditioned their duty to the taxpayer (undocumented immigrants pay taxes and, according to multiple research, contribute more economically to the place they settle in than they take in benefits). Even if the taxpayer had a warrant for his arrest, why would you chose to not to do your job by helping him if the taxpayer himself has just suffered a crime?

I mean, can you imagine if any person ever accused of anything would be refused police help simply because of their past? How trustworthy would the police be? And in a society where people don't trust the police, they build alternatives, such as gangs. Do you want to live in a city with gangs? Because that's how you get gangs.

Worse yet, the police decided to punish the illegal immigrant, while not punishing (and by extension, rewarding) the car thief. In their actions, these policemen have expressed that they'd rather have a society of car thieves than a society of hard working, honest people who happened to cross the border without the proper paperwork. (It is important to distinguish that more than half of illegal immigrants enter the US legally and then overextend their visas, which simply means that they do more in the US than they are allowed to do with their visa. Considering that the US has 100s of visas, and is one of the most convoluted, hard to understand, and expensive immigration systems in the world, it is more surprising that there are some visitors who haven't over extended their visas.)

Let's see the facts of the case, FTA:

  1. (The car theft victim) was the subject of a deportation order arising from his failure to appear at an immigration hearing in San Antonio in December 2005.

We don't know how that got resolved eventually. We don't know why he failed to appear to an immigration hearing. We do know that he was probably in the US legally at the time, as he hadn't been ordered deportation prior to the hearing, at which point he was in the US. In other words, for the purposes of the car theft, this warrant could've been easily ignored.

  1. The police cooperation with immigration authorities violated the city’s sanctuary-city ordinance that bars any use of money or resources to “assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law” — an ordinance designed in part to make potential crime victims and witnesses feel comfortable working with authorities regardless of their immigration status.

In other words, the lawmakers of SF recognize that encouraging mistrust of the police also encourages people to take the law into their own hands, deteriorating social peace, and being worse in the long run.

So, not only was the action of the police discriminatory and probably illegal, it was also the wrong thing to do for the long term social peace.

/r/news Thread Parent Link - sfchronicle.com