San Fran Transport Board Rebels After “Sanctuary Status” Call

San Fran Transport Board Rebels After Sanctuary Status Call

Surprises were in store at Tuesday’s board meeting of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, when liberals expecting BART to declare itself a “sanctuary system” got an economics lesson instead.

Well, surprise, surprise. Not everyone in San Francisco is a liberal. Especially when it could affect their jobs.

One by one, the cities of California’s San Francisco Bay Area, the fifth-largest urban area in the nation, have declared themselves “sanctuary cities,” meaning they will not cooperate with federal authorities in detaining and deporting people in the United States illegally.

Many of the area’s nearly 8 million people depend on public transportation. BART is huge and powerful and its employees have one of the most lucrative union contracts in the nation. Apparently that lucrative contract has left the system financially strapped, with no room to bite the federal hand that feeds it.

Noting that BART received about $55 million from the federal government last year, BART general manager Grace Crunican brought some fiscal reality into the room, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

President Donald Trump has already threatened to cut federal funding for cities that shield illegal aliens in defiance of federal authority. Crunican noted that the cuts could extend to BART as well. She said the word “sanctuary” could be “provocative.”

“The unpleasant facts are with the new administration coming in; there have been threats made about the role sanctuary cities, or sanctuary in transit agencies … would play in the distribution of funds,” said Crunican, according to The Mercury News.

Boy, did that put a damper on the mood.

“I’m deeply convinced that the train and transit system should not be part of a deportation machine,” said BART Director Lateefah Simon, according to the Los Angeles Times. Simon was a co-author of the new policy, which is designed to protect illegals who use public transit, effectively making BART a moving sanctuary from federal jurisdiction.

It’s fine for Simon to feel that way, of course. But the train and transit system may end up being part of no machine whatsoever if its federal funds are cut.

So far nothing definite has been decided about the policy, which has been sent back to staff for a rewrite. Use of a word other than “sanctuary” has been suggested.

The Bay Area is home to more than half a million undocumented immigrants, many of whom ride BART daily, said policy co-author Nick Josefowitz.

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H/T Breitbart