Kamala Harris, a prosecutor in California before her election to the U.S. Senate, lied about a policy she supported that required reporting to ICE any juvenile illegal aliens in custody in San Francisco, according to CNN.
The network said the Democratic lawmaker “mischaracterized” the 2008 policy “that led to undocumented minors who were arrested for suspected felonies being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement before they had been convicted.”
A 2020 presidential candidate, her claims came in an interview before an audience in Iowa on Sunday.
She was asked about her public support for the city policy enacted by then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
“In her answer,” CNN said, “Harris called the reporting of arrested juvenile undocumented immigrants before they were convicted of a felony an ‘unintended consequence’ of the policy that she did not support. However, this was in fact the intent of the policy.”
The question to Harris was: “Could you kind of give us some insight on how, from that time, when for whatever reason you were supporting this policy that was essentially handing over undocumented people to ICE before they had been convicted to now – kind of what’s changed on that and how you came to those changes?”
Harris’ responded: “That ended up being an unintended consequence of the policy and I did not support that consequence of that policy. And that policy I believe has since changed because it was not the intended purpose of that policy. I’ll say this, and I feel very strongly about it, and I always have, which is this, my background is as a prosecutor and I want to know that a person, a victim of a rape or a child molestation, or a vicious violent crime, I want to know that that victim will be able to run in the middle of the street and wave down a police officer and receive protection and security without having to worry about if they do that they will be deported.”
However, CNN reported, San Francisco had been a sanctuary city since 1989. And it originally protected all illegal aliens from ICE, deciding in 1992 to remove protections for criminal adult suspects.
But the protection remained for arrested juveniles until the policy change supported by Harris.
At that point, the city began “reporting arrested undocumented juveniles to ICE who were suspected of committing a felony, regardless of whether they were actually found guilty of a crime,” CNN reported.
“Reporting arrested undocumented juveniles to ICE was not an ‘unintended consequence’ of the policy, it was the policy,” CNN said. “Newsom and Harris have both since said that they supported the policy as a measure to protect San Francisco’s overall status as a sanctuary city, but the policy itself was enacted as ordered by the mayor.”
The network reported, “A Harris spokesman did not address the senator’s mischaracterizations when contacted by CNN’s KFile, but reiterated that the policy should have been handled differently.
“Harris’ claim that the policy has since been changed ‘because it was not the intended purpose of that policy’ is also inaccurate,” CNN said. “While Harris was correct that the policy has since been changed, it was the result of a change in administration. When Newsom left his position as mayor in 2011, his successor changed the city’s policy so that police would only report unaccompanied juvenile undocumented immigrants who were arrested to ICE; and again in 2013 when San Francisco passed another ordinance which prohibited reporting any arrested person to ICE except in limited circumstances.”