This past Thursday, a San Francisco jury acquitted a Mexican immigrant who was in the United States illegally for the murder of 32 year old Kate Steinle. She was strolling San Francisco’s Embarcadero (Pier 14) when a bullet ricocheted off the ground and into her back. The gun was fired by Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, supposedly by accident. A multiple-time felon who had just finished a nearly four-year federal prison sentence for illegally reentering the country around the time of Steinle’s death.
Since the acquittal, calls for more stringent immigration have been perpetuated, with the #KatesWall being spread on social media. Many of the people calling for stricter laws are White Nationalists such as Richard Spencer. Spencer stated on Twitter that he will be at Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, on Sunday afternoon “to demand Trump build #KatesWall.” President Trump has demanded funding for the border wall, but Congress has yet to agree to provide beyond the $20 million allotted for prototypes and related infrastructure.
Trump, who invoked Steinle’s death repeatedly on the campaign trail as he called for a border wall, said in a tweet that the not-guilty verdict is “disgraceful” and is yet more proof of why Americans “are so angry with Illegal Immigration.” Jeff Sessions as well stated that sanctuary cities like San Francisco "should not be protecting criminal aliens." He states further that if “they come into the country unlawfully and then they commit another crime, and then they hide that individual and don’t let them, as they did with Zarate, be turned over to the ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers so they can be properly deported.”
OUR VERDICT: Although this is extremely tragic, and should not be taken lightly, there certainly has to be a line between illegal and legal immigration. Such cases do expose holes in the current immigration system; therefore, the need for comprehensive immigration reform is entirely necessary to the wellbeing of this country.