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Young illegal immigrants lose their San Francisco sanctuary

July 2, 2008 | 11:14 am

San_fran California's best-known sanctuary city -- a haven for illegal immigrants -- has been escorting convicted juvenile offenders back to their home countries at city expense for nearly a generation and shielding them from federal officials in the process.

The city's sanctuary city ordinance, enacted in 1989,  requires that the city turn over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement adult illegal immigrants with felony records or those who have been accused of felonies. But the ordinance is murkier on the subject of juvenile offenders. See here for a report from last year on the controversial issue of sanctuary cities.

However, after several recent embarrassing incidents in the area, this famously liberal enclave has been forced to reconsider how it deals with young undocumented criminals.

Maria L. LaGanga,  David Kelly and Anna Gorman of the L.A. Times have the details.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times