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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer: Local Police Will Not Act As Immigration Agents

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivers his State of the City address, Jan. 12, 2017.
Andrew Bowen
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivers his State of the City address, Jan. 12, 2017.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer GUEST: Kevin Faulconer, mayor, City of San Diego

The top story on midday addition, with a response from the inquiry with an open or, he gave the clearest indication that the city will not participate in the attempt to deputize the officers as I CE agents. They will give local police and sheriff deputies authority to act as immigration agents and arrest and documented immigrants. A memo issued by Mayor Faulkner says San Diego will maintain the long-standing tradition of police not initiating contact for the sole purpose of checking immigration status. Joining me is the mayor. Mayor for -- mayor Faulkner, welcome. Thank you. It are you taking this on principle or practical reasons it is a long-standing policy that has served our city well. Look. It is important to us that we have one of the safest big cities in the country. We have safe communities and the trust of individuals and neighborhoods. If you are a victim of a crime, we want you to speak with police officers. If you are a witness to a crime, we want you to speak with the police officers and not fear repercussion or recourse. It is a policy that works well for us over a number of years. Republican administrations and Democrat administrations, it is the right thing to do. You make clear that local law enforcement will notify I CE immigration status of someone booked into jail. Is that what's separates us from a sanctuary city? Packet is. We have what we consider to be the right balance. It is a balance that serves us very well in terms of safety and in terms of interaction with the community. I will tell you. Our philosophy of community police and is essential that you have the trust of your community and neighborhoods. We have worked hard on that over the last several years and particularly the last decade. We want to continue that trust. It has worked very well for us here in San Diego. Wrinkly, I think it is a policy that other cities can emulate. The reason they asked for clarification on the policy is because of the level of concern among the residents in San Diego. Have you personally heard from constituents on this issue about the concern of local law-enforcement being turned into immigration agents? It is a topic that has been in the news and community groups and others, I think it is important for us as a city, one of the reasons that I wrote the memorandum is to reinforce what our policy has been and why it works and to continue the trust and continue to support of our community. It is essential and is thus as a safe city. Do you have concerns about immigration sweeps in Los Angeles I think every community will deal with its own issues in terms of interaction and not just locally but with the federal government. I think one of the things that is important for us in the region, it is the strong support that we have, not just at the local level with the sheriff department at the fact that we do work with the federal partners in terms of making sure that we have safe and secure Kimi -- communities. It is important to me. We have to talk about what the primary focus is on our police department. We are keeping everybody safe and we are fostering partnerships between law-enforcement and the neighbors. We are saying, there is a role for the police department but it is not to become ICE officers. He released the budget . Is a Lebanese community development block grants which are used for projects in low income areas in San Diego. What impact do you think that would have? I will tell you. Those grants are important to us in San Diego. Is not just for us that in cities across the state and the country. We utilize those for a variety of important programs just like we use housing funds for affordability. When we look at making sure our voices heard at the federal level on the budget, we're strongly supporting the work that they do and the grants do and it is something that I will be strongly supportive of continuing. If you decided whether you will run for governor next year? I love what I am doing. I will serve as the mayor of the sturdy -- city. I look forward to serving. That is a no? I am doing what I am doing. [ laughter ] I been speaking with Kevin Bochner. Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

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Memo: Delegated Authority Program
In a memo issued to the San Diego City Council Mayor Kevin Faulconer said San Diego will maintain its long-standing tradition of police not initiating, "contact for the sole purpose of checking an individual's immigration status."
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In response to an inquiry from the San Diego City Council, Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave his clearest indication yet that the city will not participate in any attempt to deputize local law enforcement officers as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

An executive order signed by President Donald Trump in January seeks to renew a national security policy that gives local police and sheriff's deputies authority to act as immigration agents and arrest undocumented immigrants.

RELATED: President Trump Signs Executive Orders On Border Wall, Sanctuary Cities

In a memo issued to the council on Wednesday, Faulconer said San Diego will maintain its long-standing tradition of police not initiating "contact for the sole purpose of checking an individual's immigration status."

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Faulconer joined Midday Edition Friday to discuss the city's position on this issue.

Q. Is this stand against police acting as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, agents a position the city is taking on principal, or for practical reasons?

A. Well, it’s a long standing policy that has served our city very, very well on both issues. Look, it’s very important that we have, and we do have, one of the safest big cities in the country. And the agreement that we’ve had ensures that he have not just safe communities, but we have the trust of individuals in neighborhoods. If you’re the victim of a crime, we want you to speak with our police officers. If you’re a witness to a crime, we want you to be able to speak with our police officers and not fear any other repercussions or recourse. It’s a policy that has worked very well for us over a number of years and, you know, Republican administrations, Democratic administrations, it’s just the right thing to do.

Q. You make clear in your memo that local law enforcement will continue to notify ICE of the immigration status of someone who gets booked into jail. Is that what you believe separates San Diego from a sanctuary city?

A. It is. Because, look, we have what we consider to be the right balance and again a balance that serves us very well in terms of safety. In terms of interaction with the community. In our philosophy of community policing, it’s essential that you have the trust of your community and neighborhoods and that’s something that our department has worked very, very hard on over that last several years, particularly the last decade. So, we want to continue that trust. It is something that has worked very, very well for us here in the city of San Diego and frankly, I think it's a policy that other cities can emulate.

Q. The reason the city council asked for clarification on this policy is because of the level of concern among many residents in San Diego. Have you personally heard from constituents on this issue about their concern of local law enforcement basically being turned into immigration agents?

A. It is a topic that has been in the news and certainly at community groups and other meetings. I think it's important for us as a city, one of the reasons that I wrote the memorandum, to reinforce what our policy has been and why it works and to continue that trust and to continue that support of our community and it is one, as I said, that is essential that has kept us one the safest big cities in the country.

Q. Do you have concerns about the recent immigration sweeps in Los Angeles?

A. I think every community is going to have to deal with its own issues in terms of interaction, not just locally but with the federal government. I think one of the things that’s important to us here in the region, is the strong support that we have, not just at the local level with our police department and our sheriff’s department, but the fact that we do work with our federal partners in terms of making sure that he have safe and secure communities. And it’s very important to me, part of the reason again why I wrote this memorandum, that we talk about what the primary focus is of our law enforcement and our police department ensure that we keep everybody safe. We’re fostering those partnerships between law enforcement and our neighbors and we’re saying to folks that there is a role for the police department, but it's not to become ICE officers.

Q. The president released his budget yesterday and among many other things, it eliminates Community Development Block Grants which are frequently used for projects in low-income areas of San Diego. What impact do you think that will have?

A. I will tell you that the CDBG grants are very important to us in San Diego. Not just for us here, but in cities across the state and indeed across the country. We utilize those for a variety of important programs, just like we use housing funds for a lot of our housing affordability and affordable housing. So, when we look at making sure our voice is heard at the federal level, particularly on the budget, strongly supporting the work that CDBG does and these HUD grants do is something that I am going to be very, very strongly supportive of continuing.

Q. Have you decided whether you’re going to run for governor next year Mayor Faulconer?

A. Maureen, I love exactly what I’m doing which is continuing to serve as mayor of this city and it’s an honor and a privilege and I’m looking forward to serving my entire four years.

Q. OK, so that’s a no?

A. I’m doing exactly what I’m doing.