The murder of 31-year-old Kate Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco could have been prevented. Before the murder, authorities had the confessed killer in custody, and knew he was an illegal alien. ICE had told them. But, thanks to San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy, police knowingly let him go.
Above: Kate Steinle, whose murder resulted from San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy
Police were required to let the illegal alien go — under San Francisco’s glorious and progressive “sanctuary city” policy:
The man accused of gunning down a 32-year-old Pleasanton woman while she was out strolling San Francisco’s Embarcadero with her father was in a Bay Area jail less than four months ago and should have been turned over to federal immigration officials upon his release, instead of being set free, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
But that’s not the way the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Legal Counsel Freya Horne sees it. In an interview Friday with NBC Bay Area, she said the city and county of San Francisco are sanctuaries for immigrants, and they do not turn over undocumented people – if they don’t have active warrants out for them – simply because immigration officials want them to.
. . . .
San Francisco Police Officer Grace Gatpandan Gatpandan added that San Francisco is a “sanctuary city, so we do not hand over people to ICE.” She also said that the police are “not responsible” for Sanchez once he is booked into county jail, “meaning we do not have control over his release.”
The suspect, Francisco Sanchez, has confessed to the murder.
The policy that caused Sanchez to be released, Ordinance 130764, was passed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and signed by San Francisco’s mayor in the fall of 2013. Its sponsors were San Francisco Supervisors John Avalos; London Breed, David Campos, David Chiu (now a former supervisor), Malia Cohen, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, and Norman Yee. It was signed by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
Everybody in this story is pointing the finger at someone else, but everyone is complicit. The police complain that they were required to release Sanchez. But ICE notes that, actually, police could simply have notified ICE that they were going to release him: “The federal law enforcement source told CNN the sheriff’s department ‘didn’t even need to hold him. They simply could have notified that they were going to release him and we would have gotten him.'”
Obama and the feds (ICE) are not off the hook here, either.
ICE is pointing its finger at the San Francisco policy and the police, but consider: ICE had this guy first, and released him to a sanctuary city, knowing they would probably let him go. According to CNN, “ICE said it turned Lopez-Sanchez over to San Francisco authorities on March 26 for an outstanding drug warrant.” NBC tells us that this case was “a marijuana case that was about 20 years old.”
So: ICE officials knew Sanchez had been deported 5 times before. They knew that, after his last deportation, he was convicted of illegal re-entry and served several years in federal prison. But, upon his release from federal prison, rather than deport him, they turned him over to San Francisco officials for a 20-year-old marijuana case, knowing that San Francisco has this sanctuary policy. Shockingly, the D.A. declined to pursue the case, leading to his release (rather than being returned to ICE custody).
Federal officials should refuse to turn over illegal aliens to sanctuary cities for state prosecutions, unless the state prosecutions are for crimes of violence, or crimes in which the alien is facing several years in prison. Turning over aliens to sanctuary cities, for potential prosecution for low-level non-violent crimes for which they face little time in custody, is tantamount to releasing them outright. Federal officials have the right to say: “if you want to prosecute this guy, you sign a document saying you will return him to us. Otherwise you don’t get him at all. We will deport him.”
The failure to implement this policy is squarely on Obama. And the refusal to secure the border, allowing this guy to come back again and again and again, is also on Obama and the Democrats.
P.S. L.A. Times coverage of this naturally does not even mention the “sanctuary city” angle.