Summary: The undocumented immigrant who killed Kate Steinle will be deported again by ICE.
Undocumented Mexican immigrant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, has been found not guilty of the death of Kate Steinle, 32. The woman’s murder sparked a fierce debate about immigration, with Republicans using the crime as a reason to crack down on sanctuary cities and increase deportations.
On Thursday, a jury ruled Zarate was not guilty of murder. Zarate allegedly shot and killed Steinle in 2015, and during the trial, Zarate’s lawyers claimed that the murder was an accident and that Zarate had not meant to fire the gun.
During six days of deliberation, jurors considered lessening the murder charge to involuntary manslaughter, but ultimately, they ended up acquiting Zarate. He was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a crime punishable by up to three years.
However, Zarate may not see an American jail because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stated that they already have plans to deport the undocumented immigrant with prior criminal offenses.
“It is unconscionable that politicians across this country continue to endanger the lives of Americans with sanctuary policies while ignoring the harm inflicted on their constituents,” a spokesperson for ICE said in a statement. “Following the conclusion of this case, ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Zarate and ultimately remove him from the country.”
Zarate had illegally entered the United States from Mexico, and the government had deported him five times, CNN said. He returned to the US and was scheduled to be deported a sixth time when San Francisco authorities released him under the city’s sanctuary law months before Steinle’s death.
San Francisco’s move raised questions from Republicans as to the public safety of sanctuary cities. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Steinle’s murder showed the threat of illegal immigrants.
“Kate Steinle was killed by an illegal immigrant and convicted felon who had been deported from the United States five times,” Huckabee Sanders said. “He, and countless other criminal illegal immigrants like him, should never be allowed to threaten our citizens.”
Steinle’s brother told CNN that justice was not served.
“I’m not surprised. The system failed Kate from the start of this chain of events. Why would the verdict be any different?” Brad Steinle said. “From the drug charge. To being released. To not being detained by ICE. The [Bureau of Land Management] agent leaving a loaded weapon in an unlocked car. It is failure after failure.”
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