SAN FRANCISCO – A man from El Salvador in the U.S. illegally who sued San Francisco after police turned him over to immigration authorities in violation of the city’s sanctuary law is set to be awarded $190,000, his attorney said.
Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno, 33, reached the settlement agreement with the City Attorney’s Office. The agreement must be approved by the Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Examiner reported Thursday.
“It’s really important for San Francisco to remain a sanctuary city not in name only but also in practice,” Saira Hussain, a staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, who represented Zarceno, told the newspaper.
Figueroa-Zarceno sued San Francisco in January for violating its sanctuary city law.
Figueroa-Zarceno said he went to police in December 2015 to report a stolen car. Instead of helping him find his car, he said officers called immigration authorities. He was taken into custody outside the police station and has been fighting his deportation ever since.
City law prohibits law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials except when violent criminals are involved.
Part of the law’s purpose was to encourage immigrants to report crimes they may be scared of disclosing because of fears that investigating officers would turn them over to immigration authorities.