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Killings turn focus on San Francisco sanctuary law

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Killings turn focus on San Francisco sanctuary law

Jul 24, 7:42 AM (ET)

By PAUL ELIAS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The scene repeats itself daily on city streets: a driver gets stuck bumper to bumper, blocking an intersection and preventing another car from turning left.

But authorities say that was enough to cause Edwin Ramos to unload an AK-47 assault weapon on a man and his two sons, killing them.

The deaths immediately drew public outrage, which intensified when authorities revealed that Ramos, 21, is an illegal immigrant who managed to avoid deportation despite previous brushes with the law.

The case has put San Francisco's liberal politics to the test, setting off a debate over its sanctuary law that shields undocumented immigrants from deportation.

On Wednesday, Ramos pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder in the deaths of Anthony Bologna, 49, and his sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. Bologna and his older son died in the intersection on June 22. His younger son succumbed to his injuries days later.

Shortly after that, police arrested Ramos, a native of El Salvador and reputed member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, known as MS-13. Investigators believe he was the gunman, though two other men were seen in the car with him.

The heinousness of the deaths has put pressure on San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris to seek the death penalty against Ramos. Harris, who campaigned on an anti-death penalty platform and has never pursued capital punishment during her more than four years in office, has declined to say exactly how she intends to proceed.

"This case has been charged as a special circumstance case," making it eligible for the death penalty, spokeswoman Erica Derryck said. "No additional announcement has been made about this aspect of the charging."

Ramos' attorney, Robert Amparan, said his client was not the shooter. "They have the wrong person," he said.

Amparan declined to discuss details of the case, but he denied his client was involved in gang activity and said Ramos entered the country legally. Federal authorities contend Ramos is undocumented.

The victims' family learned that Ramos had been arrested at least three times before the shooting and evaded deportation, largely because of San Francisco's sanctuary status.

The policy, adopted in 1989 by the city's elected Board of Supervisors, bars local officials from cooperating with federal authorities in their efforts to deport illegal immigrants.

Officials in the juvenile offenders agency interpreted the law to also shield underage felons from deportation by refusing to report undocumented ones. Mayor Gavin Newsom said he rescinded the policy regarding juvenile offenders after learning about it in May.

The Bolognas' relatives say Ramos apparently benefited from the policy when he reportedly was convicted twice of felonies in 2003 and 2004 but never was turned over for deportation.

"All San Francisco's sanctuary ordinance has done is bring violence and death to this once-great city," said Frank Kennedy, who is married to Anthony Bologna's sister.

Kennedy called for an investigation of the sanctuary policy and demanded "prosecutions for violating the law."

Meanwhile, local and federal authorities are pointing fingers at each other over Ramos' most recent arrest before the shooting.

Ramos was arrested in late March with another man after police discovered a gun used in a double homicide in the car Ramos was driving.

The district attorney's office decided not to file charges against Ramos, and he was released April 2 even though he was in the process of being deported after his application for legal residence was denied, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

San Francisco Sheriff's Department spokesman Eileen Hirst said jail officials faxed ICE on March 30 asking if Ramos should remain jailed. Ramos was freed after Hirst said immigration officials didn't respond.

ICE spokesman Timothy Counts said his agency did not receive word of Ramos' arrest in March. He said the only communication received about Ramos was an "electronic message" from the sheriff's department three hours after his release.

The case has garnered national attention, leading U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., and an anti-immigration group called Californians for Population Stabilization to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to take over, alleging San Francisco authorities have mishandled it.

"Because San Francisco's political leaders have already demonstrated their willingness to act in flagrant violation of federal law, I do not believe that local judicial institutions can be trusted to fairly try the case or mete out an appropriate punishment," Tancredo said in a letter sent Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said he was unaware of the case and the congressman's request. Miller said the attorney general routinely responds privately to such requests.

Diana Hull, president of Californians for Population Stabilization, called on about a dozen cities nationwide with similar sanctuary policies to end those programs.

"We need to remember always that a death-dealing policy like 'sanctuary' hides behind the false mantle of compassion," Hull said.

Nathan Ballard, a spokesman for San Francisco's mayor, said city officials were wrong to shield undocumented, juvenile felons from federal immigration authorities.

"The sanctuary program was never intended to shield felons," Ballard said. "The policy was inappropriate."

However, Newsom "still supports the worthwhile aims of denying the federal government" assistance in deporting otherwise law-abiding undocumented residents, he said.

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My question is , Isn't minneapolis a sanctuary city?

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Wow frown Does any process in this country work? If they did, this probably wouldnt have happened.

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Government bureaucracy at it’s best, or worst.

Copied from: Bill O’reilly blog

As of August 2006, cities and counties that have sanctuary policies include:

Anchorage, AK

Fairbanks, AK

Chandler, AZ

Phoenix, AZ2

Fresno, CA

Los Angeles, CA

National City, CA4

San Diego, CA

San Francisco, CA

Sonoma County, CA

Evanston, IL

Chicago, IL3

Cicero, IL

Cambridge, MA

Orleans, MA

Portland, ME

Baltimore, MD

Takoma Park, MD

Ann Arbor, MI

Detroit, MI

Minneapolis, MN

Newark, NJ1

Trenton, NJ1

Durham, NC

Albuquerque, NM

Aztec, NM

Rio Arriba, County, NM

Sante Fe, NM

New York, NY

Ashland, OR

Gaston, OR

Marion County, OR

Austin, TX

Houston, TX

Katy, TX

Virginia Beach, VA

Seattle, WA

Madison, WI

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Rediculous. This kind of junk needs to end already. Why are you carrying around an AK 47 for the cripes sake!!!

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What I do not understand is, why is this not a hot topic in the upcoming elections. I have not heard boo about sanctuary cities.

Sandmannd, Do a google search on the MS-13 gang. They are the most violent gang in the world. There is a reason they are in the good ol' USA, their country did not want them either. mad

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What I do not understand is, why is this not a hot topic in the upcoming elections. I have not heard boo about sanctuary cities.

That's because it's a city/county/state law, not a federal one.

It's confusing to me how the feds can withhold federal Hi way funding if a State does not lower the BAC to .08, but seem unwilling to withhold funding for cities that will not cooperate with immigration laws. crazy

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States could hold back LGA funds to a city if they are a sanctuary city.

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Quote:
That's because it's a city/county/state law, not a federal one.

My point exactly. It could be a federal one if they would buck up and start cutiing federal aide to these cities. The DUI comparison is a good one. Same as the speed limit. The states that did not follow where threatened with losing federal highway dollars.

I guess murder and gangsters running wild in our cities does not constitute federal intervention. frown

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Here is what I don't understand about these sanctuary policies. I think they are unconstitutional as plain as can be. Federal law trumps them and you can't say you won't follow federal law. Its the supremecy clause of the constution and these bleeding hearts should think about and try to run their city, not the federal immigration system!!!!!! WHO ELECTS THESE RETARDS?????

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I'm guessing here, but I don't think either party wants to get on the wrong side of the Hispanic vote as the 2005 US census puts the population at around 43 million.

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That seems plausable be it that they would rather get a vote, then protect our safety.

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Yup. Both Obama and McCain are LaRaza(The Race) pandering dopes.

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To be fair you would have to look at it from the Cities viewpoint. If a city has to do a Federal Gov't Departments job where is the incentive? Then the City/County must house the illegals until the Fed's pick them up... thats alot of City money and resources.

Not all cities think this way, but some.. Minneapolis is an example. The County jail is filled to the max at all times; now put 1,000 more illegal immigrants inside with an average of a 30-45 days stay with zero reimbursement from the Federal Gov't.

Here is a question.. Is alcohol legal? Is pot legal? So why in Minneapolis is it a Gross Misdemenor to drink in public, but only a petty misdemenor to have up to 48.5 ounces of pot? (Had dinner with some MPLS police friends last night).

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only a petty misdemenor to have up to 48.5 ounces of pot?

3 lbs of pot is only a petty misdemenor? That has to be a mis-print. confused

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I think it's fascinating & very revealing of the mindset on this board that the focus has been on the "sanctuary" cities & not on the loaded AK this character was carting around. Why not focus on both grotesque issues equally?

Wait, sorry, for a moment I forgot where I was.

Like everything else, this tragedy has to be filtered through political leanings.

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Well, if he was a citizen, and not a felon, there would be no problem owning an AK47. I don't know why anyone would want, or need to own one, but IF he was a citizen, and not a felon, then I guess he would have the right to own one...

But he was an illegal with a felony, right?

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I think it's fascinating & very revealing of the mindset on this board that the focus has been on the "sanctuary" cities & not on the loaded AK this character was carting around. Why not focus on both grotesque issues equally?

It's funny you should mention that. I was going to be a wise guy and ask who thought if he had a carry permit, but my undying need to fit in kept me from asking. That and I think I've stirred the conservative pot a little too much lately smile

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I am not a staunch Rep, but I was driving home one night and a early debate was on the radio (well not really, it was MPR...). The illegal immigrant issue came up, and the only intelligent response was from Rudy Julianny (sp). What he wanted to do was to stop illegal crossing of the border first, then deport any illegal immigrant felons (this guy, the lady who ran into the bus, etc), you know the bad people. Then after a few years, allow a legal process for the illegals to become citizens. He had it much better layed out, and worded then I did, but it was not easy, and still resolved the problem.

All the other clowns were just pandering to the crowd.

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Originally Posted By: Maximum12
I think it's fascinating & very revealing of the mindset on this board that the focus has been on the "sanctuary" cities & not on the loaded AK this character was carting around. Why not focus on both grotesque issues equally?

It's funny you should mention that. I was going to be a wise guy and ask who thought if he had a carry permit, but my undying need to fit in kept me from asking. That and I think I've stirred the conservative pot a little too much lately smile

How does an illegal alien legally acquire a carry permit? And I seriously doubt he acquired the AK legally.

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I know that I am going to get torched by some of the liberals on this, but what does it matter what kind of gun he was using? Whether he shot them with an AK47 a handgun or a hunting rifle they will still be just as dead! I happen to legally own an AK47. I also own many other hunting shotguns, rifles and handguns. Just because I own an AK47 doesn’t make me a nutjob. I use the AK for target shooting and also on coyotes. By the way, I can shoot my semi auto 22 LR or my Browning shotgun just as fast as my AK47

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I know that I am going to get torched by some of the liberals on this, but what does it matter what kind of gun he was using? Whether he shot them with an AK47 a handgun or a hunting rifle they will still be just as dead! I happen to legally own an AK47. I also own many other hunting shotguns, rifles and handguns. Just because I own an AK47 doesn’t make me a nutjob. I use the AK for target shooting and also on coyotes. By the way, I can shoot my semi auto 22 LR or my Browning shotgun just as fast as my AK47

I got your back hitman! It doesn't matter what kind of gun he had, especially since he WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAVE A GUN!

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I think it's fascinating & very revealing of the mindset on this board that the focus has been on the "sanctuary" cities & not on the loaded AK this character was carting around. Why not focus on both grotesque issues equally?

Wait, sorry, for a moment I forgot where I was.

Like everything else, this tragedy has to be filtered through political leanings.

Doesn't matter if it is an AK 47 or a BB gun, someone has to pull the trigger. In this case, the nutjob pulling the trigger was an illegal immigrant, who should have never been here in the first place, along with a whole host of other issues. I have lots of guns, and so long as I never pull the trigger with it pointed at another person, it will never shoot anybody. Its real simple.

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"San Francisco Sheriff's Department spokesman Eileen Hirst said jail officials faxed ICE on March 30 asking if Ramos should remain jailed. Ramos was freed after Hirst said immigration officials didn't respond."

Sounds to me we should be just as angered by the policy of a "sanctuary city" as we should with the inaction by ICE.

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Doesn't matter if it is an AK 47 or a BB gun, someone has to pull the trigger. In this case, the nutjob pulling the trigger was an illegal immigrant, who should have never been here in the first place, along with a whole host of other issues. I have lots of guns, and so long as I never pull the trigger with it pointed at another person, it will never shoot anybody. Its real simple.

But it's a big scary gun with a bannana clip thingy.....you know, the kind the Viet Cong used... .

Fact is, anyone without a felony can go purchase a SEMI-AUTO 7.62x39 rifle be it an AK, SKS, FN, Colt, DPMS, etc..., and hunt animals, plink, shoot competatively or hang on the wall to collect dust.

Now were this a FULLY Automatic firearm, on top of being a convicted felon, I would venture to guess he more than likely wasn't properly licensed to carry such a firearm, (like nearly all of the populace of North America).

Being as this scumbag apparently wanted these people dead, it really makes no difference if it was a SCARY Ak-47, a blow gun with poisoned tipped darts, Chinese throwing stars or a Swiss Army knife.

...(just incase anyone still don't get it).

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