Posted on November 9, 2022

ICE Wants to Deport Pelosi Attack Suspect to Canada. D.A. Brooke Jenkins Says S.F. Won’t Turn Him Over

Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, November 3, 2022

Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security want to deport the man accused of bludgeoning U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer, but District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said Thursday that she will refuse to turn him over, citing San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies.

The announcement by federal immigration authorities that they had placed an immigration detainer on David DePape, a Canadian citizen now incarcerated in San Francisco County Jail, was the latest jolt in a story that’s gripped the nation. Now, it’s become a test of San Francisco’s sanctuary city laws, which bar city departments and leaders from helping immigration officials with detentions or deportations.

“San Francisco is a sanctuary city and our policy is sacred,” Jenkins said in a statement, hours after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement publicly disclosed the hold on DePape, 42, who was arrested and accused of a home invasion, assault and bizarre kidnapping plot.

If local law enforcement were to comply with the ICE hold, they would turn DePape over to the federal agency to possibly be shipped back to Canada after his criminal cases wrap up in San Francisco. But Jenkins was adamant that won’t happen.

“We will not be collaborating or coordinating with ICE,” the district attorney maintained.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office was more cautious, however, stating that the sheriff “reviews ICE requests on a case-by-case basis to determine whether informing ICE of Mr. DePape’s release date, if any, is consistent with our local sanctuary city ordinances.”


Asserting that sanctuary city laws build trust between the community and law enforcement, Jenkins concluded that any deportation discussions “are moot” anyway, because she is confident prosecutors will convict DePape. Based on the charges her office filed, “Mr. DePape is facing life in prison,” Jenkins said.


According to Homeland Security records, DePape arrived in the U.S. as a temporary visitor on March 8, 2008, at San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, a border between San Diego and Tijuana.

Canadian travelers ostensibly visiting the U.S. for business or pleasure are allowed to stay six months, generally without a visa, under U.S. immigration laws.