The senseless murder of 32-year old, Kate Steinle, ignited a national debate on the dangers of sanctuary cities. The conversation heated-up this week, after a San Francisco jury, acquitted illegal immigrant, Jose Zarate, of Steinle’s murder. But the case isn’t over yet.
On Thursday, jurors declared Zarate, a habitual felon deported from the U.S five times, not guilty of murdering Steinle. Jury members did convict the Mexico native for illegally possessing a firearm, which carries a three-year prison sentence.
However, the Department of Justice is not walking away from the case. Hours after the verdict, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, issued a statement condemning the decision. While Sessions didn’t specifically mention additional charges, his message pointed to that outcome.
“The DOJ will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens,” he said. On Friday, DOJ spokeswoman, Sarah Flores, confirmed that federal charges may be forthcoming.
A Preventable Tragedy
“We’re looking at every option and we will prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law because these cases are tragic and entirely preventable,” Flores told Fox & Friends on Friday. “…he knew about San Francisco’s sanctuary policies. This is a person that never should have been on that pier, and Kate Steinle would still be alive.”
Shortly after that statement, the Justice Department issued an arrest warrant. Charges against Zarate include felon in possession of a firearm, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a deadly weapon.
A battle over sanctuary policies has been brewing since Trump took office. Both local and state governments have openly defied the president by refusing to cooperate with federal immigration laws. Investigative reports have proven that hundreds of illegals are being released despite the existence of ICE detainer requests.
Calling the verdict, “disgraceful,” President Trump renewed calls for border security. “The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!” he tweeted.