Simon and Josefowitz have asked BART staff to look into further limiting cooperation between the transit district's police department and the federal government in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
They want BART to join other cities in the agency's service area in limiting information about undocumented immigrants shared directly or indirectly with federal authorities.
"Recent studies indicate that there are over 500,000 undocumented immigrants living in the Bay Area. Many of these immigrants ride BART every day," Josefowitz said during Thursday's meeting.
"When local law enforcement focuses on keeping communities safe, rather than becoming entangled in federal immigration enforcement efforts, communities are safer and community members stay more engaged in the local economy," he said.
The move would amend two sections of BART's police code: one on when "foreign nationals" are arrested or detained, and another section on immigration violations. There are currently regulations that limit cooperation with federal authorities on immigration cases (these are Sections 422 and 428 of the department's policy manual). This proposal would strengthen those rules.
Their proposal comes days after an interview President Trump did with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly where he reiterated his desire to punish the state of California and local governments that aim to restrict their local law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration law.
"I think it's ridiculous, sanctuary cities. As you know I'm very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime," Trump said.
"There's lots of problems. If we have to, we'll defund. We give tremendous amounts to California. California in many ways is out of control, as you know. Obviously, the voters agree. Otherwise they wouldn't have voted for me," Trump said.
BART received more than $99 million in federal funds for the 2016 fiscal year, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
Trump's assertion that sanctuary jurisdictions breed crime is contrary to at least one study. According to research by a professor at UC San Diego, crime is significantly lower in counties that do not cooperate with federal law enforcement, compared with those that do.