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BART may adopt a sanctuary city-like policy

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Board mulls it over for BART police department

A white light-rail train on elevated tracks, with the tops of trees and buildings visible as it passes. Photo by Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

Taking a cue from cities like San Francisco refusing to give up sanctuary city policies, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) may adopt a similar plan.

Two representatives from Alameda and San Francisco counties proposed the measure in a meeting on Thursday.

“There are over 500,000 undocumented immigrants in the Bay Area,” said BART Board representative Nick Josefowitz, “Many of these immigrants ride BART every day.”

Alameda County representative Lateefah Simon suggested that BART “mirror some of the best cities and municipalities in this country standing up to hate and xenophobia.”

Not much debate on the proposal has happened, since Thursday’s motion only sent the proposal to committee, after which it may eventually return for consideration by the full board.

BART operates its own police force with over 200 officers. The transit system’s police department handles between 3,000 and 3,300 crimes per year within “the BART District, which includes 107 miles of trackway, 45 stations, and 47,000 parking stalls.”

While the department doesn’t have a specific sanctuary policy, an agency spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle that BART PD has not yet turned anyone over to immigration agents “in recent memory.”