Sarah Sanders on Kate Steinle Murder Verdict: Politicians Who Fail to Secure Borders ‘Share Responsibility for Preventable Crimes’

Kate Steinle and Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez
Facebook/Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
Washington, DC

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called for Congress to act to secure America’s borders in a Friday morning response to Thursday’s “not guilty” verdict against an illegal alien in the Kate Steinle murder case.

Sanders declared that the verdict “underscores the danger to public safety when our nation fails to enforce its laws.”

She stated unequivocally that Steinle “was killed by an illegal immigrant and convicted felon who had been deported from the United States five times. He and countless other criminal illegal immigrants like him should never be allowed to threaten our citizens.”

The press secretary emphasized the importance of Congress’s taking action to “secure our borders and provide the resources, including more ICE officers, needed to deport criminal illegal aliens and to finally stop sanctuary city policies that cause needless loss of innocent life.”

She further accused politicians who fail to secure the Unites States borders of being complicit in crimes against Americans, like the killing of Steinle. “Politicians who fail to address these needs share responsibility for preventable crimes committed against innocent Americans.”

“Had San Francisco enforced our nation’s immigration laws, the Steinle family would be celebrating this holiday with all of their loved ones,” she concluded.

Steinle was killed in 2015 when she was struck by a bullet from a gun that Jose Garcia Zarate had in his possession. The one guilty verdict against Zarate on Thursday was possession of a firearm. Steinle was walking on San Francisco’s Pier 14 with her father when she was wounded. Her final words were a plea to her father for help as she died in his arms.

Zarate was acquitted of murder charges. Zarate, previously known by the alias Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, made a jailhouse confession to a local news outlet shortly after Steinle’s death and his arrest. He also admitted that he previously came to San Francisco because of its sanctuary city status.

Since Steinle’s death, state legislators have voted to make California a sanctuary state. The law goes into effect in January 2018.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.