Debates, protests continuing on proposed 'Kate's Law'

Anti-immigration sentiments spurred by shooting death of Kathryn "Kate" Steinle July 1 on San Francisco pier

Dozens of protesters gathered in San Francisco Tuesday to identify solutions in response to anti-immigration sentiments spurred by the shooting death of Kathryn "Kate" Steinle, 32, of Pleasanton, on July 1 on a San Francisco pier.

The shooting is blamed on an undocumented immigrant from Mexico with a history of felony convictions and who had been deported five times after repeatedly entering the U.S.


Immigration rights activists gathered on the steps of San Francisco City Hall holding flowers and singing songs in the memory of Steinle, who was fatally shot while walking on Pier 14 near the San Francisco Ferry Building with family members in broad daylight.

Within an hour of the shooting police had arrested Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez in connection with the homicide.

Immigrant rights activists said that Lopez-Sanchez does not

represent U.S. immigrants, but instead represents someone with potential mental health issues who did not receive the help he needed.

Lopez-Sanchez was convicted of seven prior felonies, including four involving narcotics, according to immigration officials.

Due to San Francisco's 1989 "sanctuary city" policy that prohibits law enforcement officials from detaining an individual on the basis of an immigration detainer when they would otherwise be eligible for release from custody, Lopez-Sanchez was not handed over to immigration officials for what would have been his sixth deportation. Instead he was released onto the streets of San Francisco.

Less than two months after his release from San Francisco County Jail, Lopez-Sanchez was arrested in connection with Steinle's death.

Following the homicide, a national debate was spurred over which agency or individual was responsible for his release. Various agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were blamed for failing to obtain a court order placing Lopez-Sanchez in custody.

Others have blamed San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who maintains that he was simply following city laws when he decided not to hand Lopez-Sanchez over to immigration authorities.

Others, such as Fox News' conservative political commentator Bill O'Reilly, are blaming the country's lax border control for Steinle's death.

O'Reilly is also calling for the creation of "Kate's Law," which he described as a mandatory five-year sentence in a federal penitentiary upon conviction of undocumented immigrants who are deported and then return to the U.S.

O'Reilly has begun a petition urging Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner to pass "Kate's Law."

Steinle's parents have also spoken in favor of such a law.

At Tuesday's rally, activists expressed concern that Steinle's death was the result of a failure to provide those in need with access to substance abuse programs and mental health assistance, as well as lax gun control laws.

Numerous activists said they felt the homicide represents the presence of violent crime in the community and highlights a larger issue that has little to do with immigration.

Bill Ong Hick, a law professor at the University of San Francisco and the founder of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, said that he doesn't believe the city's policies were at fault.

In fact, Hick praised the sanctuary city law and the due process law, explaining that those laws were designed to address public safety and help undocumented immigrants trust law enforcement officials.

Hick said having mandatory sentences "doesn't accomplish anything" and that the law proposed by O'Reilly will not solve the immigration issue.

"We do share the blame for what happened because we are not fighting enough," Hick said, adding that he feels the public should demand more substance abuse programs and stricter gun control laws.

San Francisco supervisors David Campos and John Avalos were among the elected officials who attended the rally, where many people spoke about the importance of separating the crime from immigration and the behavior of the accused criminal from the behavior of all immigrants.

According to the American Immigration Council, immigrants are actually less likely to be criminals than native-born persons.

As the number of foreign-born persons in the U.S. grew from 1990 to 2013, the U.S. violent crime rate during that time was cut in half, according to the council.

— Bay City News Service

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2 people like this
Posted by Charlie Brown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 15, 2015 at 8:51 am

The solution to the crime problem is now obvious. Deport, to the Island of Elba, all U.S. born citizens and open the borders to all illegals, hence no crime.

11 people like this
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 15, 2015 at 8:58 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Whomever wrote this article has a warped impression of events. I've not heard a single anti-immigration comment. I have heard plenty of anti-criminal and pro-permanent deportation comments. They are not the same thing.

9 people like this
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 15, 2015 at 9:01 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Permanent deportation is deportation to a place with no escape. I don't mean expensive prisons but just dump them off on a floating iceberg with a sack lunch.

4 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2015 at 9:40 am

Let the deportations of all illegal aliens begin! Purge the "sanctuary cities"!!

10 people like this
Posted by Not anti-immigrant!!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2015 at 11:40 am

I'm NOT anti-immigrant, but very anti-criminal. SEVEN felonies!!!, FIVE deportations! combination makes for 'criminal' issues. Writer is trying hard to slant and turn this into an every-day 'anti-illegal' topic, which it is NOT !!! At least I certainly HOPE not!!!! Only misguided minds would try to lump together, ignoring the depth and breadth of time spans of the repeated felony offenses of this particular criminal, which our 'sanctuary' SF neighbor takes upon itself to ignore.
So, I'm guessing any city, can remove itself from any "Federal" law it chooses to not enforce. Right?? San Fran should not be allowed to ignore federal laws that all other US cities must follow. So ANARCHY is now defended and condoned?? ALL federal money to San Francisco should be stopped now, Their choice, obey federal laws, or no federal money.
The opening words of this article should be factually corrected.... "Anti-immigration sentiments" is not correct. Pulling a trigger that murders a person is a crime !! Period!!!! IF that is not enough for you, the 7 felonies, plus 5 deportations, should do it. But the topper for this piled up mess is a self-'sanctuary' concept of local law enforcement, ignoring FEDERAL LAWS and SPECIFIC CASE REQUESTS. And, power of press opportunity not to be missed, this article of misinformation will likely be in our mailboxes this week. Sad. Sad for her family, who is promoting this bill, but who got the smallest print. Shame.

8 people like this
Posted by Not anti-immigrant!!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2015 at 11:53 am

BYW, I do not watch Reilly. The news I heard on other outlets was that her parents are promoting this bill. Isn't that the "NEWS", the fact that there is a movement to tighten or fix the giant loopholes in the sanctuary mess as it now exists.

6 people like this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

And people wonder why SF is a dump site. The whole city is a cesspool.

Aren't they due for another big quake?

12 people like this
Posted by Primetime
a resident of West of Foothill
on Jul 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Really! Get it right. Whoever wrote this is an idiot or a deliberately trying to mislead the reader. It is not about being anti immigration it is about anti ILLEGAL immigration. Words mean things.

4 people like this
Posted by moes
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 15, 2015 at 3:27 pm

The real issue here and all this noise is because she was a white woman. Not because she was murdered or because it was done by a lunatic illegal who came here to cause problems. For many moons illegals have been at the hands of many murders drug deals rapes and so forth.. but now that it has happened to a WHITE PERSON AND A WHITE FAMILY we need to make a new law for more jails and deport people who are here to work mostly. This is just the classic racist reactions of white Americans to me. Had he killed any other race we would even be on this post and thats the truth. Liberty and justice for ALL not just"us"

11 people like this
Posted by lownet
a resident of Mission Park
on Jul 15, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Kate's Law.
A convicted illegal with a FELONY serves time and is deported.
When caught here as an illegal again gets 5 year mandatory sentence for the first offense. Then deported.
Second offense a 10 year mandatory. Deported
Third 15 years, and deported.

Americans should not have to put up with all these criminals coming and going as they please. In jail is better then on the streets.

4 people like this
Posted by RestOfStory
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 17, 2015 at 9:24 pm

RestOfStory is a registered user.

What a biased "report". This is not about "anti-immigrant" paranoia, this is about a city with a long history of tolerating and even promoting criminal behavior. Law abiding citizens are expected to just put up with this treatment. Tourists should be wary of setting foot in this citadel of disease and crime. Yes the views can be breathtaking and the cable cars are cute, but at the risk of pick pockets and assaults? Spend your restaurant and entertainment dollars somewhere else. And, while you are at it, you might also consider avoiding purchase of any products from companies headquartered there.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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