Immigration protesters arrested during Feinstein protest
Eight people who chained themselves together in the lobby of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco office Thursday afternoon have been arrested, event organizers said.
Luis Ojeda, an activist with the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, said that eight activists were arrested in Feinstein’s office at 1 Post St. at about 12:45 p.m.
The activists were rallying with dozens of others in opposition to what they say is the senator’s support of anti-immigration legislation following a homicide San Francisco’s Pier 14 earlier this month allegedly at the hands of a Mexican national.
Kathryn Steinle, a 32-year-old Pleasanton native, was killed in the shooting on July 1.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who has been charged with murder in Steinle’s death, was previously deported from the U.S. five times and had a criminal history including seven prior felony convictions.
Lopez-Sanchez was released from San Francisco County Jail prior to the shooting despite a federal immigration detainer request.
San Francisco has a “sanctuary city” policy that prohibits law enforcement personnel from detaining someone on the basis of an immigration detainer request when they would otherwise be eligible for release from custody.
Feinstein in an open letter to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee earlier this month said Steinle’s death was preventable and urged the city to participate in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new Priority Enforcement Program, which was created as part of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration in November 2014.
Feinstein said in the letter that additional federal legislation on the issue may be necessary.
Organizers of today’s protest said in a statement that Feinstein plans to introduce legislation that will “undermine trust in law enforcement and cause serious civil rights violations.” Police were not immediately available this afternoon to confirm the arrests of the protesters.