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SF Mayoral Candidate Alioto: Sanctuary Law Should Not Protect Violent Felons

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco's mayoral candidates are drawing lines in the sand in the fight over who benefits from the city's sanctuary status.

Candidate Angela Alioto is pushing to amend San Francisco's sanctuary law to exempt violent felons. Her opponents are pushing back.

With a one-page petition, Alioto turned the sprint to the June 5 election on its ear again.

The petition for the November ballot asks to have violent felons exempted from the protections of San Francisco's sanctuary law.

Angela Alioto authored the original sanctuary law as a member of the Board of Supervisors.

"In 94 I amended it to take felons out because they were treating it as though felons were in. So, I specifically amended it to say we're not covering dangerous felons," said Alioto. "In 2013 and 2016, David Campos and John Avalos went back and amended it to add serious dangerous felonies, three within seven years."

Reaction from other candidates in the race has been swift. Mayoral candidate Mark Leno opposes the move.

"That sacrifices San Francisco values in particular in regards to sanctuary city to suggest, to perpetuate this Trump myth that our immigrants are murderers and rapists and child molesters - really instills fear into communities and really is not worthy of Democratic candidates," he said.

District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim echoes that sentiment.

"I was incredibly surprised that the author sanctuary policy is now coming out to weaken our status as a sanctuary city," said Kim. "I'm very proud that San Francisco is a sanctuary city and that we are a place that protects all of our residents regardless of documentation. Her proposed changes I think make us less safe."

London Breed's campaign issued a statement saying, "London would never support a measure that describes immigrants as murderers, rapists and felons."

For her part, Alioto is surprised by the reaction of her fellow candidates.

"I am shocked. I thought that this would just be file an ordinance and campaign for it through November."

She says in her time campaigning, San Franciscans have told her the sanctuary policy needs common sense reform.

"We don't want to welcome dangerous felons to San Francisco and that's how I've always felt," said.

A recent KPIX 5/Survey USA poll found 61% think local law enforcement should assist the feds in cases involving undocumented immigrants who are suspects in violent crimes.

Alioto would need to collect nearly 10-thousand signatures to get the amended ordinance on the November ballot.

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