March 20, 2018

Trump Calls Acquittal in Sanctuary City Murder `Disgraceful'

01 December 2017, 06:24 | Rufus Hill

U.S. President Donald Trump attends the National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House

U.S. President Donald Trump attends the National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House

If Garcia-Zarate had been deported again (he had already been five times) as federal law insisted he should have been (he had been in San Francisco city custody on a warrant regarding fleeing from an old marijuana charge from 1995, moved to them from federal custody for felony illegal re-entry to the U.S.) prior to Steinle's being shot, went the argument, she would still be alive.

President Donald Trump said during the presidential campaign that Steinle's death was another reason the United States needed to build a wall on its southern border and tighten its immigration policies.

In a response to the verdict, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also released a statement saying despite California's attempt at a murder conviction, Zarate was able to walk away with only one conviction because he was not turned over by San Francisco to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle but said it was an accident. "It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others", defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said after the verdict.

"I urge the leaders of the nation's communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers", Sessions said.

The six-man, six-woman jury reached the verdict on the sixth day of deliberations following a four-week trial.

He was convicted on the lesser charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. San Francisco's "sanctuary city" law limits cooperation with USA immigration authorities. "But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle?" he asked.

Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said prosecutors were disappointed in the verdict but respected the jury's decision.

That charge was dismissed by San Francisco prosecutors after he arrived.

Languishing in seventh behind his Republican competitors at the time, just two weeks into his campaign, Trump used Garcia Zarate's past-he had been deported from the USA five times and had seven felony convictions, including drug charges-as proof of his campaign's anti-immigrant operating thesis. The bullet ricocheted on the pier's concrete walkway before it struck Steinle.

The case touched off a national debate about sanctuary cities because of the circumstances of Zarate's release from a San Francisco jail several months before Steinle's killing. A federal judge dismissed the family's claims against San Francisco and former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi earlier this year. "I have met with numerous great parents who lost their children to sanctuary cities and open borders".

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump tried to link Democrat Hillary Clinton to the controversy. But it's unlikely to have enough votes to pass the Senate, which struggled with Kate's Law previous year.

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