SFGovAccessibility
Seal of the City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco

To view graphic version of this page, refresh this page (F5)

Skip to page body

San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 12H: Immigration Status

Sec. 12H.1. City and County of Refuge.
Sec. 12H.2. Use of City Funds Prohibited.
Sec. 12H.2-1. Chapter Provisions Inapplicable to Persons Convicted of Certain Crimes.
Sec. 12H.3. Clerk of Board to Transmit Copies of This Chapter; Informing City Employees.
Sec. 12H.4. Enforcement.
Sec. 12H.5. City Undertaking Limited to Promotion of General Welfare.
Sec. 12H.6. Severability.

SEC. 12H.1. CITY AND COUNTY OF REFUGE.
It is hereby affirmed that the City and County of San Francisco is a City and County of Refuge.

(Added by Ord. 375-89, App. 10/24/89)

(return to top )

SEC. 12H.2. USE OF CITY FUNDS PROHIBITED.
No department, agency, commission, officer or employee of the City and County of San Francisco shall use any City funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law or to gather or disseminate information regarding the immigration status of individuals in the City and County of San Francisco unless such assistance is required by federal or State statute, regulation or court decision. The prohibition set forth in this Chapter shall include, but shall not be limited to:

(a) Assisting or cooperating, in one's official capacity, with any Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) investigation, detention, or arrest procedures, public or clandestine, relating to alleged violations of the civil provisions of the federal immigration law.

(b) Assisting or cooperating, in one's official capacity, with any investigation, surveillance or gathering of information conducted by foreign governments, except for cooperation related to an alleged violation of City and County, State or federal criminal laws.

(c) Requesting information about, or disseminating information regarding, the immigration status of any individual, or conditioning the provision of services or benefits by the City and County of San Francisco upon immigration status, except as required by federal or State statute or regulation, City and County public assistance criteria, or court decision.

(d) Including on any application, questionnaire or interview form used in relation to benefits, services or opportunities provided by the City and County of San Francisco any question regarding immigration status other than those required by federal or State statute, regulation or court decision. Any such questions existing or being used by the City and County at the time this Chapter is adopted shall be deleted within sixty days of the adoption of this Chapter.

(Added by Ord. 375-89, App. 10/24/89)

(return to top )

SEC. 12H.2-1. CHAPTER PROVISIONS INAPPLICABLE TO PERSONS CONVICTED OF CERTAIN CRIMES.
Nothing in this Chapter shall prohibit, or be construed as prohibiting, a law enforcement officer from identifying and reporting any person pursuant to State or federal law or regulation who is in custody after being booked for the alleged commission of a felony and is suspected of violating the civil provisions of the immigration laws. In addition, nothing in this Chapter shall preclude any City and County department, agency, commission, officer or employee from (a) reporting information to the INS regarding an individual who has been booked at any county jail facility, and who has previously been convicted of a felony committed in violation of the laws of the State of California, which is still considered a felony under State law; (b) cooperating with an INS request for information regarding an individual who has been convicted of a felony committed in violation of the laws of the State of California, which is still considered a felony under state law; or (c) reporting information as required by federal or state statute, regulation or court decision, regarding an individual who has been convicted of a felony committed in violation of the laws of the State of California, which is still considered a felony under state law. For purposes of this Section, an individual has been "convicted" of a felony when: (a) there has been a conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction; and (b) all direct appeal rights have been exhausted or waived; or (c) the appeal period has lapsed.

However, no officer, employee or law enforcement agency of the City and County of San Francisco shall stop, question, arrest or detain any individual solely because of the individual's national origin or immigration status. In addition, in deciding whether to report an individual to the INS under the circumstances described in this Section, an officer, employee or law enforcement agency of the City and County of San Francisco shall not discriminate among individuals on the basis of their ability to speak English or perceived or actual national origin.
This Section shall not apply in cases where an individual is arrested and/or convicted for failing to obey a lawful order of a police officer during a public assembly or for failing to disperse after a police officer has declared an assembly to be unlawful and has ordered dispersal.

Nothing herein shall be construed or implemented so as to discourage any person, regardless of immigration status, from reporting criminal activity to law enforcement agencies.

(Added by Ord. 282-92, App. 9/4/92; amended by Ord. 238-93, App. 8/4/93)

(return to top )

SEC. 12H.3. CLERK OF BOARD TO TRANSMIT COPIES OF THIS CHAPTER; INFORMING CITY EMPLOYEES.
The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall send copies of this Chapter, including any future amendments thereto that may be made, to every department, agency and commission of the City and County of San Francisco, to California's United States Senators, and to the California Congressional delegation, the Commissioner of the INS, the United States Attorney General, and the Secretary of State and the President of the United States. Each appointing officer of the City and County of San Francisco shall inform all employees under her or his jurisdiction of the prohibitions in this ordinance, the duty of all of her or his employees to comply with the prohibitions in this ordinance, and that employees who fail to comply with the prohibitions of the ordinance shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Each city and county employee shall be given a written directive with instructions for implementing the provisions of this Chapter.

(Added by Ord. 375-89, App. 10/24/89)

(return to top )

SEC. 12H.4. ENFORCEMENT.
The Human Rights Commission shall review the compliance of the City and County departments, agencies, commissions and employees with the mandates of this ordinance in particular instances in which there is question of noncompliance or when a complaint alleging noncompliance has been lodged.

(Added by Ord. 375-89, App. 10/24/89)

(return to top )

SEC. 12H.5. CITY UNDERTAKING LIMITED TO PROMOTION OF GENERAL WELFARE.
In undertaking the adoption and enforcement of this Chapter, the City is assuming an undertaking only to promote the general welfare. This Chapter is not intended to create any new rights for breach of which the City is liable in money damages to any person who claims that such breach proximately caused injury. This section shall not be construed to limit or proscribe any other existing rights or remedies possessed by such person.

(Added by Ord. 375-89, App. 10/24/89)

(return to top )

SEC. 12H.6. SEVERABILITY.
If any part of this ordinance, or the application thereof, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected thereby, and this ordinance shall otherwise continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this ordinance, and each of them, are severable.

(return to top )

Last updated: 11/13/2009 4:35:23 PM