Monday marked the beginning of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate’s trial. The Mexican man is being charged with second degree murder of Kate Steinle. The victim was shot in San Francisco in 2015. Her death made national news and has since impacted domestic debates on immigration policy. The alleged shooter had entered the U.S. illegally on several occasions and was deported on five separate occasions.
The shooting lead to the passing of Kate’s Law by the U.S. House of Representative. The new policy aims to increase punishment for illegal immigrants who were deported and return to America. Additionally, President Trump commonly references this incident, using it to argue in favor of stricter border control and federal laws related to immigration. Garcia Zarate has pleaded not guilty and, if convicted, will face roughly 15 years in prison. The defense argues that Garcia Zarate did not know he had a gun and “does not bear criminal responsibility. The defense says that Garcia Zarate found a gun wrapped in a T-shirt and the gun went off.
Our Verdict: Regardless of how this trial ends, the implications of the incident are already evident in the political sphere. For every example of crime related to immigrants of any background and any status, there are myriad immigrants doing good in the United States.