“”The deputy sheriffs’ grievance says the sheriff’s policy of non-cooperation with ICE “…recklessly compromises the safety of sworn personnel, citizens and those who merely come to visit San Francisco“.

The newspaper said the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association connected the apparently random shooting of Kathryn Steinle, 32, by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez to a department policy to block information about inmates from federal immigration authorities.

“Why on earth”, Cutler asks, “would the US government embark on a program of providing documentation to aliens who evade our borders and the lawful inspections process that (is) supposed to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would be problematic for the United States – including global terrorists and transnational criminals?”

Mirkarimi, in defending the decision, has suggested he was following a 2013 city policy, which only allows certain violent offenders to be held for deportation.

The grievance also underscored deep divisions within the Sheriff’s Department. The association has endorsed his opponent, Vickie Hennessey. “Clearly, this was a bad policy”, he said. Francisco Sanchez is accused of murdering Steinle and is an illegal immigrant who was deported five times before.

San Francisco’s deputy sheriffs have joined the fight over the department’s handling of deportation requests.

Mirkarimi released him in April after the district attorney declined to prosecute.

The Sheriff’s Department also could not be immediately reached but responded in a statement on Thursday to similar calls made by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Authorities said Sanchez was released from federal prison in March after a felony re-entry conviction, then transferred to the sheriff’s department on a drug warrant.

The mayor maintains that the Sanctuary City Ordinance allows for the sheriff’s department to communicate with federal immigration authorities regarding requests for notification pertaining to undocumented, convicted felons.

“Do we need to educate somebody on how to pick up the phone?” The letter, a formal grievance, is from the sheriffs deputies’ lawyers in response to not one, but two orders from Mirkarimi in March, barring deputies from contacting federal immigration agents.

The mayor said Friday he stands by his criticism of the sheriff.

Mirkarimi told reporters the deputy union’s complaint is no surprise.

Supporters of sanctuary cities say they foster a climate so immigrants here illegally are willing to report crimes, and police can still help federal immigration officials.