On Thursday, a jury acquitted Jose Ines Garcia Zarate of all homicide charges filed in connection with the murder of Kate Steinle. That verdict baffled ordinary citizens and legal experts alike.
The media has yet to interview any of the jurors in the case, so it’s impossible to know whether this was a case of “jury nullification,” or whether the prosecution fell asleep at the wheel. Either way, most Americans are astounded that an illegal alien who killed a U.S. citizen could be acquitted by a sane jury.
Here’s what Americans need to know about this case:
Sanctuary City Policies Are Dangerous
- Garcia Zarate is a Mexican citizen who was deported five times – and re-entered the United States illegally – prior to shooting Ms. Steinle.
- He had seven felony convictions at the time of the shooting.
- S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had asked the San Francisco County Sheriff to hold Garcia Zarate for arrest and deportation prior to Ms. Steinle’s murder.
- San Francisco is a so-called “sanctuary city” that refuses to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, so Garcia Zarate was released to the streets.
- Had the sheriff complied with ICE’s request, Garcia Zarate would not have been on the streets and, therefore, could not have killed Ms. Steinle.
Weak Immigration Enforcement May Prove Deadly
- The federal government deserves some of the blame for mishandling Garcia Zarate’s case.
- Individuals who re-enter the U.S. after deportation are guilty of “Criminal Re-Entry.”
- Federal law enforcement authorities could have arrested Garcia Zarate and charged him under federal Criminal Re-Entry statutes.
- Criminal Re-Entry carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
- Failure to enforce our immigration laws has resulted in the death of many U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants.
The federal government has tolerated dangerous state and local sanctuary policies for far too long. American citizens, lawful immigrants, and even other illegal aliens keep becoming victims of alien criminals because too many presidential administrations have refused to take immigration enforcement seriously.
President Trump has the right idea. It’s time to get serious about enforcing our immigration laws. We must secure our borders with a physical barrier, eliminate dangerous sanctuary policies, and start taking immigration enforcement seriously.
Americans deserve to be safe in their own communities – but they won’t be if we allow the Garcia Zarate’s of the world to stroll across our borders at will.