December 2, 2017
The controversial verdict for the illegal immigrant who shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle, is reigniting the debate over sanctuary city policy and border security.
Jose Garcia Zarate who fatally shot Steinle while she was walking with her father on a San Francisco Pier, was acquitted of murder charges, after a jury determined he accidentally shot her.
However, lawmakers say Steinle would still be alive today, if it weren’t for sanctuary city policies that protected him.
The 45-year-old illegal immigrant who had seven previous felony convictions, and been deported back to Mexico five times, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter, but was convicted for felony possession of a firearm.
Months before the 2015 shooting, he completed a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry, and was transferred to a San Francisco jail to face a drug charge which was eventually dropped.
Under sanctuary city law, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department released him back on the streets, despite a federal immigration request to detain him for deportation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement saying the illegal immigrant wouldn’t have been released, if it weren’t for the sanctuary city policy; which he says is putting the public’s safety at risk.
President Trump called the verdict disgraceful and said he understood why Americans are so fed up with America’s immigration system.
The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
New pressure is also being placed on the Senate to pass Kate’s law and the no sanctuary for criminals act, which were approved by the House in June and now hang in the upper chamber.
Kate’s law would increase penalties for immigrants who repeatedly re-enter the country illegally, while the no sanctuary for criminals act would deny federal funding to sanctuary cities.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice issued an arrest warrant for Garcia Zarate on Friday, for allegedly violating his supervised release in 2015.
Federal charges could extend his sentencing, as Defense Attorneys say Garcia Zarate could spend up to three years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm.