SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein spoke with KPIX 5 Political Reporter Melissa Caen on Tuesday about how the decades-old issues of homelessness and immigration remain a major focus of her work in office.
Back in the 1980s when U.S. Senator Feinstein was San Francisco Mayor Feinstein, she oversaw some of the first public funding to help the city’s homeless.
On her watch, San Francisco became a sanctuary city for undocumented Guatemalans and Salvadorans.
On Tuesday she said she is still fighting to do what’s right while addressing those key issues.
Senator Feinstein said she doesn’t see the migrant caravan traveling north through Mexico as just a mass of people.
“What I see is the distance, and the heat and the children; the small children,” said Feinstein.
The senator is working on legislation that would keep undocumented immigrant families together, but would allow quicker processing of asylum claims.
“We need more judges. And we need more staff,” said Feinstein. “There’s no question about that and this bill will provide for more.”
Feinstein says that’s not the only issue that needs more funding. Homelessness is a problem she has been familiar with since she became the Mayor of San Francisco almost four decades ago.
“If I look back and I look at this city today, what we thought then is that homelessness would not be chronic,” said Feinstein. “That is was just an instant…not an instant, but a change and that change would remedy itself. It hasn’t.”
She says as a senator, she has appropriated money to fight homelessness and will continue to do so.
“My staff has been looking at facilities all over the state. And what I’m trying to do is write a bill to provide for people who are homeless certain therapeutic communities where they will be able to come in and live and also get help with whatever the problem is that made them homeless,” explained Feinstein.
She said she voted in favor of Proposition C, which taxes big businesses to fund homeless programs in San Francisco
“I have voted for it. I voted absentee and my ballot has been delivered, so…but I did vote for it,” Feinstein said.