Don’t Blame Sanctuary Cities for Kate Steinle’s Death, Says California Paper

Sanctuary Policy Rally in San Francisco
AP File Photo/Haven Daley

A California newspaper says that sanctuary city policies are not to blame for the murder of San Francisco tourist Kate Steinle on July 1, 2015. The latest attempt to shift the blame follows claims by the attorney for the criminal illegal alien, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a.k.a Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, that the gun is at fault.

“What doesn’t matter is that Garcia Zarate (Sanchez) is Mexican. Nor does it matter how he got across the border,” the Sacrament Bee editorial board writes. “It also doesn’t matter that San Francisco is a sanctuary city in what is now a sanctuary state. And it really doesn’t matter that some people insist building a wall along the border with Mexico would have prevented Garcia Zarate from illegally entering the United States six times.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting-Director Thomas Homan responded to the assertion from the editorial board, telling Breitbart Texas, “The fact is that some crimes committed by illegal aliens are preventable. Non-cooperation policies, like those recently enshrined in SB 54, lead to tragedies that likely could have been prevented.”

“In the case of Kate Steinle, honoring ICE’s request to hold Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez would have most likely resulted in his removal from the country for the sixth time instead of his murdering a young woman on the pier that day,” Homan stated.

Their statement ignores the simple truth that if officials had honored an immigration detainer and turned Lopez-Sanchez over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in April 2015, he would not have been in San Francisco on that day, Breitbart California’s Michelle Moons reported.

Their statement also ignores the criminal alien’s own words.

In a July 2015 interview with the San Francisco ABC affiliate, Lopez-Sanchez confessed to killing Steinle and said he “knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials,” the interviewer stated.

Lopez-Sanchez ‘s attorney, Matt Gonzalez, went so far as to ignore his client’s public confession and try to place the blame on the gun itself, Breitbart News’ AWR Hawkins reported. Lopez-Sanchez allegedly stole the gun from the car of a Bureau of Land Management agent.

The immigration record for this seven-time-convicted felon includes five deportations. ICE officers were processing Lopez-Sanchez for his sixth deportation in March 2015. The criminal alien was completing a federal prison term. Unfortunately for Steinle, the Bureau of Prisons followed the law and turned Garcia Zarate over to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD) on March 26. The sanctuary law enforcement agency had a drug warrant for him.

ICE officers filed an immigration detainer with the SFSD. A San Francisco court dismissed the drug charge and the SFSD declined to honor the detainer — choosing instead to release Lopez-Sanchez on April 15. The release came about ten weeks before the criminal alien would allegedly kill Steinle on July 1.

None of this matters, the Sacramento Bee writes, as the murder trial of the convicted felon illegal alien gets underway on Monday. Instead of taking an honest look at sanctuary immigration policies that left Kate Steinle dead, the newspaper’s editorial staff would rather attack media outlets like Breitbart News and Fox News Channel for accurately reporting the truth about the case.

The editorial staff wrote:

Breitbart News covered the case, using headlines like: “Media Cover Up Illegal Immigrant Criminality.”

And Bill O’Reilly, when he still had a job at Fox News, told viewers that “the mayor and city supervisors of San Francisco are directly responsible for the murder of Kate Steinle and the Obama administration is complicit.” He also called for the arrest of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Then, they shift the blame to the defendant’s alleged mental instability and homelessness, questioning, “why was he apparently released from the San Francisco jail with no support services?”

The editors continue to shift blame. This time, to the Bureau of Land Management agent whose gun was allegedly stolen by Lopez-Sanchez.

The editorial board says that Steinle’s family “deserves the facts.” Here are two facts that Steinle’s father, James Steinle, knows all too well — his daughter’s final words, “Help me, Dad!,” and, his daughter would not have been killed on July 1 if the SFSD had honored the ICE detainer on April 15, 2015.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.


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