Roughly 15 days ago Kathryn Steinle was shot and killed, allegedly by illegal immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. He chose to stay in San Francisco specifically because it was a sanctuary city – protecting him as an illegal immigrant from federal Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Under the liberal policies of sanctuary cities, city officials do not have to turn over illegal immigrants to ICE. This was the case with Lopez-Sanchez, because ICE officials had requested that San Francisco police let ICE know when Lopez-Sanchez would be released so that ICE would be able to take him into federal custody, but San Francisco refused to notify the federal officials.
President Obama has said nothing about Steinle’s death – even after her parents have proposed Kate’s law and appeared on national television to discuss the death of their daughter and the legislation.
The Washington Post’s Mark Thiessen noted Obama may not be rushing to comment on Steinle’s death because it “would require him to confront the fact that his administration has been releasing tens of thousands of dangerous undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions into our communities — including many who have gone on to commit murder.”
For example, Thiessen pointed out that in 2013, the Obama administration released roughly 36,007 illegal immigrants who all had criminal convictions — 1,000 of those individuals were then convicted of different crimes following their release.
In 2014, the Obama administration released roughly 30,558 illegal immigrants.
“According to the House Judiciary Committee, only 8 percent of those were due to the Supreme Court’s decision in Zadvydas v. Davis, which requires that undocumented immigrants be released after 180 days if their home countries won’t take them back. The other 92 percent were released because of Obama’s policies,” Thiessen stated.
However, Obama has been quick to react to the shooting deaths of African American men.
For example, the recent death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland – which sparked violent riots against police – occurred on April 12, 2015. It was 17 days later that Obama publicly addressed the young man’s death.
On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking violent riots – but just three days later, Obama spoke about Brown’s death:
The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.
Obama also sent Administration officials to Brown’s funeral.
A grand jury later found Brown was the aggressor toward a police officer who shot Brown in self-defense.
Regarding the death of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, Obama said he believed the shooting of Martin by George Zimmerman should be investigated. He made his remarks 25 days after the death on March 23, 2012 when Obama told reporters, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
Thiessen argues what is different between Steinle’s death in comparison to the deaths of Martin, Gray and Brown is that Obama has no political policy talking points.
“After Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray were killed, Obama had liberal public policy points he wanted to make — about gun control, “stand your ground” laws, racial profiling and police bias. In the Steinle case, there are no issues Obama wants to highlight — because his administration supports the policies that led to her death,” Thiessen argues.