San Francisco mayor apologizes for saying ‘a lot of’ drug dealers are Honduran
The mayor of San Francisco apologized Thursday after appearing insensitively on an immigration show on Fox News.
“I’m sorry if I was insensitive to the fact that a lot of the people that I met … are from Honduras,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in an interview. “And I understand that’s the fact.”
Lee was on the immigration show, “Red, White, and Blue,” to discuss a plan to reduce crime in Oakland.
“You think that a lot of those gang members in Oakland are from the West Coast?” Fox’s Sean Hannity asked, prompting Lee to criticize the idea that the people in Oakland are all gang members.
“It’s not a blanket statement,” said Lee, who added that he would take the show “off the air” if it included immigration jokes.
Lee, who is white, was born in the city of San Francisco, but was raised in rural California. He grew up in the Bay Area but also spent time in Mexico in his early 20s. Immigration is not a top issue for him.
“The issue is not what is the immigration policy here,” Lee said.
The mayor also made a comment that drew the ire of his constituents. “It’s no secret that I voted for Obama. I’m for immigration reform,” Lee said of the 2009 president. “But I don’t know who I should be mad at.”
Lee added: “I was on his immigration plan from day one.”
And he added: “I have a number of friends and they all voted Republican and they all think very highly of me. So that’s why I’m frustrated.”
Lee apologized to his audience and the media. “To the residents who wrote me letters, let me say for the record I am not xenophobic,” Lee said, noting that he had voted for Democratic president