“Nothing has changed. Except Kate’s not here.” These somber words spoken from the father of Kate Steinle perfectly sum up the verdict in his daughter’s murder trial. If you are unfamiliar with the trial here is a small summary of what happened. Illegal immigrant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate shot and killed Kate Steinle on July 1, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The gun that was used in the shooting belonged to a federal agent, and was stolen from his car four days prior to the incident. In an interrogation with the police, Garcia Zarate changed his story several times on the events that unfolded that day. Nonetheless, he presented that the shooting was an accident and that he never intended to shoot Steinle.
The jury found reasonable doubt that the shooting was intentional, therefore Garcia Zarate was found not guilty on the murder charge. Based on the facts given during the trial, it seems like the verdict was just. The jury made their decision based on what was presented and did not bring their opinions into their decision. Although the ruling was just in the eyes of the law, it is an embarrassment to our immigration policies.
The fact of the matter is Garcia Zarate is a convicted felon and should have never been here in the first place. He was deported from the United States five times and still managed to make his way back. In sanctuary cities like San Francisco, local authorities are not required to communicate with federal immigration authorities such as ICE. It is crucial that we have immigration policies that protect current U.S. citizens as well as immigrants who are trying to obtain their citizenship. What we cannot have is a system that protects convicted felons.
I have written about our broken illegal immigration policy in the past and still stand by the statement I made before. There is no place in America for convicted illegal immigrants. These illegal immigrants who have broken the law in the past should not be confused with illegal immigrants who have come to America for a better life and to become a citizen. This country needs to get it together and make laws that will no longer protect convicted illegal immigrants and stop them from being able to come here in the first place. Whether it was an accident or not, Garcia Zarate should have never been able to be in San Francicso on the day he killed Kate Steinle.
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