The suspect arrested for the shooting death of a woman out for a walk along San Francisco’s Pier 14 is an illegal immigrant with seven felony convictions who had been deported five times. The man now in police custody has reportedly acknowledged that he pulled the trigger. In an exclusive jailhouse interview with ABC affiliate KGO-TV, Francisco Sanchez claimed he found the gun that he admittedly fired “wrapped in a T-shirt and that it went off when he picked it up.”
Sanchez also told KGO that he returned to San Francisco after being deported because he knew it was a sanctuary city “where he would not be pursued by immigration officials.”
On ABC’s This Week on Sunday, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, blasted the sanctuary city policy and criticized the Obama administration for “releasing criminals back onto the streets.” As CNS News reports, Goodlatte was discussing the apparently random murder of the 32-year-old woman in San Francisco.
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The CNS News report notes: “Because San Francisco is a ‘sanctuary city,’ local authorities did not honor a U.S. Customs and Enforcement Agency detainer for Francisco Sanchez. The detainer could have kept Sanchez in jail until ICE officials picked him up.” Instead, the man suspected of killing Kate Steinle had been released by San Francisco authorities after the district attorney’s office reportedly declined to prosecute the illegal immigrant.
“Why did they ever turn him over to them when they could have deported him, or they could have prosecuted him for illegally reentering the country four times and send him to prison? Either way, Kate Steinle would be safe,” Rep. Goodlatte told This Week host George Stephanopoulos.
The Republican head of the House Judiciary Committee, according to the CNS News post, focused his criticism on San Francisco as well as the policies of the Obama administration in going easy on criminal aliens in sanctuary cities. “‘…this administration is releasing criminals back onto the streets themselves. So there’s fault to be borne by both,’ Goodlatte said.”
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The Daily Caller notes that sanctuary city policies — now coming under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the tragic killing of the woman in San Francisco — are in place in about 140 U.S. cities and are supported by all four Democrat candidates for president.
As a senator from New York, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, twice made public statements backing sanctuary cities. In 2008, she and two other Democratic candidates, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, voted against an amendment that would block federal funds from going to sanctuary cities. And last year, as governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley announced that the Baltimore city jail would stop honoring requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold illegal aliens until they could be deported.
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