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S.F. Mayor Responds to Spanish Newspaper Editorial

El Mensajero, Editorial, Mara Antonieta Meja, Translated by Elena Shore Posted: Oct 02, 2008

Editor's Note: Two weeks ago, San Francisco's Spanish-language newspaper El Mensajero published an editorial criticizing Mayor Gavin Newsom for recent decisions that it says have alienated the city's Latino and immigrant populations. Joe Arellano, spokesperson for the mayor, responded to the editorial with a letter of complaint. An excerpt of the letter appears in the newspaper's editorial below.

SAN FRANCISCO -- This week we received a letter of complaint from Joe Arellano, spokesperson for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. He was angry over the editorial we published two weeks ago in our Sept. 14 edition. The editorial was titled A Mayor Lost.
Maria MejaMara Antonieta Meja, editor of El Mensajero
It criticized Newsom for his decision to postpone implementation of the plan to issue municipal IDs to residents of San Francisco, regardless of their immigration status.

The editorial also called on Newsom not to give in to pressure from conservative and anti-immigrant groups, who have never liked the idea of municipal IDs because it would benefit undocumented Latino immigrants. The editorial also mentioned that Newsom may have done this to win these conservative votes if he decides to run for governor of California.

In his letter, written in English, Arellano explains why Newsom decided to postpone granting municipal IDs: "The reason why this citys municipal ID program has been postponed is because Mayor Newsom is working with other city agencies to make sure the program is implemented correctly and does not provoke lawsuits from anti-immigrant groups that oppose it. We want to make sure we use IDs that can't be falsified and that people like Edwin Ramos can't get one of these IDs after committing multiple homicide and avoid deportation."

This is just an excerpt of Arellanos response, which as you can imagine was much more extensive, but did not fit into this editorial. And in just this paragraph we realized that the decision to delay the municipal ID plan has more to do with Ramos case than with the rest of the immigrants who are in this country, not to commit crimes but to work.

That is the point, Mr. Newsom -- listen carefully: Not all undocumented Latino immigrants who could benefit from the municipal IDs are criminals. Sure, there are criminals and murderers we arent going to deny it but they are the minority.

And the rest of us shouldnt have to pay the consequences for that minority.

El Mensajero asked Arellano for a Spanish translation of his letter, because this is a Spanish newspaper, and as soon as we receive it, we will publish it in its entirety.

Related Articles:

Editorial: San Francisco Mayor Lost

The Knock at the Door: San Franciscos Sanctuary Status Under Fire

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