President Donald Trump is outraged at the outcome of the Kate Steinle murder trial, in which accused killer Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found not guilty by a California jury on Thursday. His outrage is justified.
On July 1, 2015, the 32-year-old Steinle was shot in the back on Pier 14 in San Francisco while she was walking with her father. No one denies that Zarate shot her, but he claimed that he found a handgun wrapped in a T-shirt under a bench on the pier and that it fired accidentally as he tried to extract it.
Zarate was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of the lesser charges of involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. He was convicted of illegally possessing a firearm, a sentence that carries up to three years. Federal immigration officials have stated that Zarate will be deported for a sixth time after he serves jail time.
Before the shooting, Zarate, an illegal immigrant who was deported five times previously, had been released from jail where he was being held on drug charges. He was released because of San Francisco’s sanctuary city polices, contrary to the will of federal immigration authorities who wanted him detained. He then went on to kill Steinle.
President Trump called the verdict in Zarate’s trial a “disgrace.” He accused the previous administration of failing to protect the U.S. border and the Democratic party of being weak on crime. He also repeated his call to build a wall on the southern border.
A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
President Trump’s tweets reflect the anger felt among his voters at the injustice of Kate Steinle’s death.
The issue is not that illegal immigrants commit a disproportionate number of crimes compared to American citizens. It is that every crime committed by an illegal immigrant is preventable if the United States would enforce its immigration laws and secure the border.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump consistently brought up Kate Steinle’s murder during while giving his pitch to voters on why the U.S. needs stricter immigration laws, tougher border enforcement, and an end to sanctuary city policies. Trump strongly supported the passage of Kate’s Law, which would increase penalties for those who attempt to re-enter the country after deportation, as Zarate did.
Every American with common sense understands that cities do not have the right to lawlessly nullify immigration law and endanger Americans. And someone who enters the United States illegally and commits crimes should be deported and never allowed back.
But that is not the case on the ground today, and so far Congress has been unwilling to act. Kate’s Law remains stalled in the U.S Senate. Funding for border security is hotly contested, as Congress debates extending current government spending levels through Dec. 22 to avoid government shutdown. Meanwhile, some Republicans are instead working to include a deal for DACA amnesty in the spending bill to be passed before the end of this year.
The American people cry out for justice. They want to be protected. They want American borders to be respected. They want illegal immigrant criminals expelled from this country. And instead, Congress is looking for ways to jam an amnesty package into a last-minute spending bill after sitting on its hands all year long and breaking other promises to repeal Obamacare and cut taxes.
President Trump is right that Democrats will pay a big price in the 2018 elections if they continue to obstruct the enforcement of American immigration law, but he doesn’t go far enough. If Republicans fail to deliver on tougher immigration enforcement, if they pass amnesty first instead, they will pay a far greater price for betraying their promises and wasting their time in power.
There are several actions the government can take to address the injustice of this pathetic verdict and ensure that there will be no more deaths like Kate Steinle’s. First, Attorney General Jeff Sessions should indict Zarate as an illegal immigrant in possession of a firearm. This is the action Trump’s executive branch can immediately take.
It is a federal felony, up to 10 yrs’ imprisonment, to be an illegal alien in possession of firearm (18 USC secs.922(g), 924). DOJ should indict Zarate if haven’t already. Sentence consecutive to today’s state gun conviction could keep him in prison 13 yrs or so.— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) December 1, 2017
Next, Congress should unilaterally defund sanctuary cities and tie Kate’s Law to next week’s spending resolution. If the Democrats object to enforcing federal immigration law, if they threaten a government shutdown to stop an effort to prevent another American death at the hands of a deported illegal immigrant, let them.
Let them attempt to defend their indefensible destruction of America.
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Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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