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San Francisco-Area Transit Authority Might Protect Immigrants From Feds


Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) board of directors is considering a proposal which would turn the nation’s fifth largest metro rail system into a sanctuary-like environment that protects undocumented immigrants from the federal government.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the proposal would seek to protect immigrants without using the sanctuary label. But it would also foreclose against outright ignoring federal law.

The sanctuary idea was originally proposed by board members Nick Josefowitz and Lateefah Simon in March, and the idea has since gained steam, just without the term “sanctuary” being used.

Officials are intentionally avoiding the use of the term “sanctuary” in drafting the proposed policy guidelines because BART relies upon federal funds and its board fears reprisals (e.g. losing such funds) from the Trump administration.

Under the terms of the proposal, BART police would be instructed not to seek out the undocumented or “go out of their way” to enforce federal immigration law, according to the Chronicle. This, BART hopes, would make riders feel safer while using the metro which provides service to multiple cities in the San Francisco Bay area.

Additionally, the proposal would prohibit spending BART funds on immigration enforcement or requesting immigration information from potential system employees.

Writer Zoé Samudzi pointed out a major caveat in the proposed policy, however, as BART still intends to comply with immigration enforcement requests “as required by federal or state law or court order.”

[image via Bay Area Rapid Transit]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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