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Grieving father stars in TV ad slamming sanctuary cities

"Sanctuary city" ads

SAN FRANCISCO -- A grieving father is taking to the airwaves to slam so-called sanctuary cities.

Don Rosenberg blames San Francisco's immigration policy for the death of his son, Drew. In new television ads, he's taking aim at sanctuary cities everywhere, CBS San Francisco reports.

Rosenberg lost his son six years ago when Roberto Galo, an undocumented immigrant, hit and killed Drew, who was biking home from law school in San Francisco.

"Imagine if Kate had been your daughter, Jameel or Drew, your son," Rosenberg says in the new TV ad.

Rosenberg told CBS San Francisco that, "Instead of stopping, he accelerated, and drove over his body. My son's helmet had come off, and wedged under one of Galo's tires, so he backed up, driving over him a second time. And then a third time, trying to flee, drove over him a third time."

Rosenberg, and his new political ad, argue that horrible demise was avoidable.

Rosenberg says in the ad, "…all three killed by people who entered our country illegally, people shielded from federal immigration law by California's sanctuary cities."

Before Drew was killed, Galo was stopped by San Francisco Police Department for driving without a license or insurance and going the wrong way down a one-way street. Galo was cited and let go.

A few months later he killed Drew.

"The grief part of it is always there, that never goes away. But when I have to really think about it and watch what's happening, particularly in California, it gets you very angry," Rosenberg said.

District Attorney George Gascon's office says sanctuary policy or not, Galo's crimes wouldn't have warranted a call to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

That fact hasn't deterred Rosenberg, though. With the help of Californians for Population Stabilization, he harnessed his anger and made this ad.

In the ad, Rosenberg says, "California should be a sanctuary -- for Californians."

It urges the governor not to sign a bill making California a sanctuary state and asking President Trump to follow through on his threat to defund sanctuary cities.

It's a move that would potentially cost the city millions of dollars of federal funding, and one city has launched a lawsuit to fight it.

The ad went on the air this week across California and will run for several weeks.

CBS San Francisco asked Rosenberg, after suffering heartache and loss, what he felt about those people whose families are torn apart by deportation.

"Its a false equivalency," Rosenberg said. "My son was doing nothing wrong. My family was doing nothing wrong … They can go back. I can't bring my son back."

John Cote, a spokesperson for the San Francisco City Attorney's Office said in a statement, "This ad perpetuates the false notion that sanctuary cities harbor criminals. The federal government actually gets the fingerprints of everyone in San Francisco's jails … They know who we are holding. If they think someone is dangerous, all they need to do is get a criminal warrant or court order."

Cities that are not sanctuary cities do not require the federal government to jump through those hoops.