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Feds, Courts May Step In If Supes Shield Youths

Publication Date: 
November 10, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Bob Egelko

Associate Professor Jayashri Srikantiah, who directs the Immigrants' Rights Clinic, spoke to Bob Egelko about San Francisco's policy debate over immigrant youth protections. Egelko filed this report:

San Francisco supervisors' effort to shield immigrant youths from deportation when they're arrested on felony charges comes to a head today when the board votes on an override of Mayor Gavin Newsom's veto - a vote Newsom says he'll disregard because the ordinance would violate federal law.

Supervisor David Campos' legislation has enough votes to pass. At that point, San Francisco will be at the center of a simmering nationwide legal debate over state and local government authority to depart from federal immigration policy, said Jayashri Srikantiah, a Stanford law professor and director of the school's Immigrants' Rights Clinic.


Srikantiah, the Stanford professor, said the city would have a strong case for refusing to volunteer information on the immigration status of juveniles, whose records are confidential.

"The city routinely keeps juvenile information confidential," Srikantiah said. "Requiring the city to turn over those records to the federal government would run afoul of those confidentiality protections."