United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions slammed sanctuary city policies after a jury found an illegal immigrant not guilty in the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle Thursday night.
The case, which set off a national debate on sanctuary cities and illegal immigration, reached its conclusion when a jury ruled that Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was only guilty of possessing a gun illegally. Sessions, a long proponent of stricter immigration policies, criticized the policies that led to the “preventable death of Steinle.”
“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk,” Sessions said in the statement. “San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”
Zarate had been deported five times before he fatally fired the gun that killed Steinle. Prosecutors charged him with second-degree murder, but defense attorneys for Zarate argued that the gun “went off” when he discovered it underneath a park bench.
“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 finished.
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