Immigration fight holds up a Newsom appointee 

A fight over a federal program about immigration has held up Mayor Gavin Newsom’s appointment to the Police Commission.

Newsom appointed Joseph Marshall to serve a third consecutive term on the Police Commission, which provides oversight of the Police Department, but on Thursday the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee refused to send the appointment to the full board of confirmation.

Marshall, who was peppered with tough questions from the heated debate about Tasers to violence in the communities, ran into trouble when he would not take a position on the controversial federal program known as Secure Communities, which would check fingerprints of anyone arrested with a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement database. The program is being blasted by Sheriff Michael Hennessey and members of the Board of Supervisors who want to opt out of the program.

“Where are you on this? You already have a situation where many people in the immigrant community do not trust law enforcement,” Supervisor David Campos said. “Where are you on this? Do you agree with Sheriff Hennessey? Do you agree with Mayor Newsom?” Newsom does not oppose the program.

Marshall started out with somewhat of a joke. “Oh well, that’s a nice question.”

But Marshall said he had not opinion on the program since it was between the federal government and the state and The City would have to do what ever was decided.

Campos pushed him further. “What would be your public policy?”

Marshall said, “I haven’t studied it well enough to be able to give that kind of position on that. That really is my best answer on that.”

Supervisor Eric Mar said Marshall should talk about the program’s implications with the immigrant communities.

Campos agreed, saying Marshall should become more “acquainted” with the impact.

And the committee continued the decision on reappointing Marshall to an undetermined date.

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