SSF Immigration Enforcement Policy Explained by Police Chief Azzopardi

South San Francisco, CA    February 8, 2017


The South San Francisco Police Department has a long and proud history of building strong relationships of mutual respect and trust with the community members we serve, regardless of their immigration status. We have a significant interest in building and maintaining public trust so that members of the community feel confident that they may report acts of criminal activity and/or reach out to us for essential services without fear of being reported to immigration officials.


In light of recent community concerns regarding a possible increase in immigration enforcement activity, I want to ensure that all employees of the South San Francisco Police Department have a clear understanding of our existing policies and practices with regard to immigration enforcement.


Under federal law, federal immigration agencies and officials have primary jurisdiction over, and responsibility for, the enforcement of immigration laws. Similarly, California state law leaves direct enforcement of immigration laws to federal agencies and officials. Consistent with this, and in recognition of the fact that the primary function of the Police Department is to enforce the laws of the state of California, the South San Francisco Police Department does not directly investigate or enforce immigration laws.


It is not, nor has it ever been, the practice of Police Department personnel to inquire about, investigate, or report to any federal immigration agency, an individual’s immigration status. Police Department employees do not, and will not, inquire about an individual’s immigration status for any reason. Furthermore, the Police Department will not refer cases involving violations of immigration laws to the District Attorney’s Office, or any federal immigration agency, for prosecution.


In the event an individual is taken into custody by Police Department personnel for a criminal violation, and that individual is booked into the San Mateo County jail, it will be the responsibility of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office to cooperate with federal law enforcement agencies regarding immigration law violations in a manner consistent with state law. The Sheriff’s Office has its own policies regarding their cooperation with federal agencies on matters related to immigration laws and enforcement.


While the Police Department will be making relatively minor changes to its immigration related policies and practices to ensure consistency with recently passed state law, we do not anticipate any modifications to the determination that we will not directly enforce or investigate immigration laws, but will maintain cooperation with federal law enforcement officials.




NOTE: Everything South City has received numerous communications requesting information on the policy of our City and our Police Department regarding ICE and immigration status concerns. Please note if someone appears at your door claiming they are from ICE you should ask for valid identification and they may not enter your home without a warrant. Do not allow yourself to become a victim of a scam. If you suspect something is not right, contact the police immediately – See something, say something is how we can keep our community safe for all. 

1 comment for “SSF Immigration Enforcement Policy Explained by Police Chief Azzopardi

  1. Dolores Piper
    February 13, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you so much, Jeff, for this clear statement of support for our SSF people from the police department.

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