'Help Me, Dad'

El Dorado News-Times - - Opinion -

Days af­ter the cruel, un­just not guilty ver­dict in the Kate Steinle trial, Amer­i­cans are still rag­ing over the de­ci­sion. Re­gard­less of peo­ple's opin­ions about im­mi­gra­tion, Jose Ines Gar­cia Zarate's ac­quit­tal on mur­der charges is a trav­esty, and adds to the al­ready im­mea­sur­able pain the Steinle fam­ily and other fam­i­lies have suf­fered as a re­sult of crimes com­mit­ted by il­le­gal aliens. Even the ul­tra-il­le­gal im­mi­grant ad­vo­cate San Francisco Chron­i­cle ed­i­to­ri­al­ized that the ver­dict did not serve jus­tice.

Af­ter the de­ci­sion, Steinle's father Jim said he's "shocked and sad­dened," no doubt an un­der­state­ment. Brother Brad said the "cul­mi­na­tion of er­rors" that led to his sister's death left him "just flab­ber­gasted."

By now the de­tails sur­round­ing Steinle's mur­der are well known, but re­view­ing them to ex­plain the na­tion­wide rage is im­por­tant., On July 1, 2015, Zarate, then known as Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, shot and killed Steinle in sanctuary city San Francisco, a crime to which he im­me­di­ately con­fessed. Steinle had been strolling San Francisco's Pier 14 with her father when she was shot.

Zarate is a Mex­i­can na­tional who had been re­moved from the U.S. five times, and had seven felony con­vic­tions. San Francisco au­thor­i­ties had Zarate in cus­tody but ig­nored an Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment de­tainer and re­leased him be­fore he could be de­ported a sixth time. Six weeks later, Steinle was dead. Once Zarate re­ceived le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, his story changed, and his con­fes­sion turned into a not guilty plea.

Steinle's hor­rific and to­tally pre­ventable death ex­plains only part of the sim­mer­ing anger among Amer­i­cans on both sides of the aisle. The cul­mi­na­tion of er­rors that Brad railed against re­main in place, and are com­pound­ing. Im­me­di­ately af­ter the ver­dict was read, Mayor Ed Lee's of­fice said that San Francisco will al­ways be a sanctuary city. And since that mur­der­ous July day, Gover­nor Jerry Brown signed a bill that makes Cal­i­for­nia a statewide sanctuary. At the sign­ing, Brown dis­hon­estly said that the bill "will pro­tect pub­lic safety."

Back in the Washington swamp, Cal­i­for­nia's elected Democrats are, no mat­ter how high the body count be­comes, con­temp­tu­ous of fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion law. Two months af­ter Steinle's mur­der, Sen­a­tor Dianne Fe­in­stein, a for­mer San Francisco mayor, re­fused to vote for a bill that would de­fund sanctuary cities. Sen­a­tor Ka­mala Har­ris, for­mer San Francisco dis­trict at­tor­ney, Cal­i­for­nia at­tor­ney gen­eral, and a pos­si­ble 2020 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, is all in on sanc­tu­ar­ies. House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, whose dis­trict in­cludes San Francisco, re­peat­edly chants the de­cep­tive and ut­terly false mantra that sanc­tu­ar­ies make cities safer. Ear­lier this year at a CNN Town Hall, Pelosi told Laura Wilk­er­son, whose 18-year-old son was tor­tured, mur­dered and then set on fire by a Hon­duran alien class­mate, that il­le­gal im­mi­grants are "law-abid­ing cit­i­zens." They are nei­ther.

Plenty of blame can be placed on the Repub­li­can­con­trolled Se­nate too. Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell re­fuses to bring to the floor for a full vote a House-passed bill that would de­fund sanctuary cities. In­stead of com­mit­ting to more se­cu­rity and pro­tec­tion from crim­i­nal aliens, Congress is ob­sessed with pass­ing a DREAM Act amnesty. Lit­tle won­der that Amer­i­cans, the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of whom want se­cure bor­ders and vig­or­ous in­ter­nal en­force­ment, are dis­gusted.

To ev­ery lo­cal, state and fed­eral of­fi­cial con­tem­plat­ing leg­is­la­tion that would ex­pand im­mi­gra­tion or grant amnesty, re­mem­ber these words, the last Kate Steinle ever spoke, be­fore you cast your vote: "Help me, Dad."

Joe Guz­zardi

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