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Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeNewsPoliticsTrump, Sessions Slam Kate Steinle Verdict, ICE Vows Deportation

Trump, Sessions Slam Kate Steinle Verdict, ICE Vows Deportation

Kate Steinle, right, was shot and killed on July 1, 2015 near San Francisco's Pier 14 by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, left, who had been deported and allowed to return to the sanctuary city multiple times.
Kate Steinle, right, was shot and killed on July 1, 2015 near San Francisco's Pier 14 by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, left, who had been deported and allowed to return to the sanctuary city multiple times.

Kate Steinle, right, was shot and killed on July 1, 2015 near San Francisco’s Pier 14 by Jose Garcia Zarate, left, who had been deported and allowed to return to the sanctuary city multiple times.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions slammed the “not guilty” jury verdict in the trial of the illegal immigrant who shot Kate Steinle. Jose Garcia Zarate, previously known as Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, was a multiple felon who had been deported numerous times taking “sanctuary” in San Francisco.

“A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case!” President Trump tweeted. “No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”

After six days of deliberations, Zarate was acquitted of first and second degree murder, as well as involuntary manslaughter and assault with a semi-automatic weapon. He was found guilty only of possessing a firearm by a felon.

Attorney General Sessions, who has been leading the efforts against so-called “sanctuary cities,” said Ms. Steinle’s death was on the city for implementing a policy that put their citizens at risk.

“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk,” he said. “San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”

Ms. Steinle was walking with her father and a family friend in July 2015 when she was shot, collapsing into her father’s arms and begging him for his help before she expired. Despite a federal detainer issued by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Zarate was released from a San Francisco jail about three months before the shooting.

Attorney General Sessions slammed San Francisco for not honoring the detainer from ICE.

“While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle’s death—a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer—the people ultimately convicted him of felon in possession of a firearm,” he said.

The Trump Administration has been blocked by the courts for withholding funds to sanctuary cities, in a case that is ultimately headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The slaying of Ms. Steinle sparked a controversial national debate over crime committed on U.S. citizens by illegal immigrants.

According to a recent poll, 58% want the federal government should cut off funds to cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants, while just 32% disagreed and 10% said they were not sure. Further, 62% of likely voters said the Department of Justice (DOJ) should take legal action against cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, 53% of all voters–including 76% of Republicans–agree with President Trump that illegal immigration increases the level of serious crime in America.

ICE Deputy Director Tom Homan joined joined the attorney general in calling on officials who support and are responsible for sanctuary cities to reverse course. In a statement following the verdict, he vowed to deport Zarate.

“San Francisco’s policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law,” he said. “This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had simply turned the alien over to ICE, as we requested, instead of releasing him back onto the streets.”

Worth noting, California lawmakers have since voted to make California a sanctuary state, a move Deputy Director Homan called “unconscionable.”

“It is unconscionable that politicians across this country continue to endanger the lives of Americans with sanctuary policies while ignoring the harm inflicted on their constituents. Following the conclusion of this case, ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Zarate and ultimately remove him from the country.”

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