Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez is accused of killing Kate Steinle in a horrific act of random violence.
It happened in San Francisco, a “sanctuary city.”
Lopez-Sanchez was in this country illegally. What’s worse — and a lot worse, at that — is that he’d been deported four times, sent back to Mexico. His fifth illegal re-entry resulted in Steinle’s shooting death.
This case has resonated on several levels, each of which is worthy of comment.
First, there must be some head-knocking occurring at Immigration and Naturalization Service, Border Patrol and Homeland Security offices. How in the world does someone keep getting into this country after getting caught and deported multiple times?
Second, it is time to re-examine this whole concept of “sanctuary city,” which is aimed at giving immigrants a way to avoid being captured by federal immigration authorities. As USA Today said in an editorial: “San Francisco is one of nearly 300 cities and counties across the country with sanctuary laws or policies aimed at separating federal immigration enforcement from local policing, in order to build trust between immigrant communities and local police. The reasoning goes like this: If immigrants, including millions of undocumented ones, see local police officers as a tool for deportation, they will not report crimes or come forward as witnesses, even when they are victims, and public safely will suffer.”
That reasoning did not work in this tragic case.
Third, President Barack Obama has been oddly silent about Steinle’s death. Why is that, Mr. President? Your critics make a valid point that you should be leading the nation in mourning the death of a young woman whose life was taken by someone who shouldn’t have been here in the first place.
Am I going to join the Donald Trump amen chorus in implying that most illegal immigrants are here to commit the kind of act that Lopez-Sanchez is accused of committing? Not on your life.
But the system failed us badly. A young woman’s family is grieving. A nation needs answers.