During the 2016 Campaign, then Candidate Donald Trump shamelessly exploited Kate Steinle’s death for political purposes. Today, his administration continues to exploit her death to attack the 10th Amendment. This is a political ploy to needlessly trample State’s Rights and increase the power of the executive branch. I’ll explain after I indict.
1. Why I call this exploitation.
The year is 2017. It is April. The Kate Steinle murder trial was scheduled to have begun in February 2017. I had pretty much forgotten about her because President Trump had quit talking about her death.
I decided to search for information on her trial. None could be found. I reached out to right wing talk radio. I called Andrew Wilkow, host of The Wilkow Majority on Sirius XM. He had been a champion of the case during the campaign. I asked him if he had any information. He didn’t. I asked if he could get someone on his show from California to discuss it. He wasn’t interested.
My cousin is a big Trump supporter. He had ranted relentlessly about the case during the campaign. He too was surprised at the lack of attention being paid to the case. Also wanting information, he called the Mark Levin show. However, his luck was worse than mine. He didn’t make it on air. The screener informed him that Kate Steinle wasn’t the topic being discussed and told him to call back some other day.
Why was the right wing now ignoring this case they once championed? We soon found out that the trial had been delayed. Moreover, when it proceeded, the accused was acquitted on all but one charge. Yesterday that conviction was overturned. In response, Ken Cuccinelli said the following.
Ken Cuccinelli’s statement on Kate Steinle’s death.
Kate Steinle was tragically killed because San Francisco proudly proclaims itself a sanctuary city. How many more innocents will die b4 sanctuary cities stop harboring violent criminals?
The facts of the case defy Ken’s logic here.
- Garcia Zarate was in Federal Custody. They released him to San Francisco to stand trial on a state charge. It was a 20 year old marijuana possession charge. Marijuana possession was no longer a state crime in California when they released him.
- Garcia Zarate shot Kate Steinle with a gun that was owned by a federal agent. It was stolen from a government vehicle where it was left unsecured.
The Federal Government released Garcia Zarate to San Francisco. However, they blame the city for not giving him back. Moreover, their unsecured weapon was used to kill her. However, they blame the city of San Francisco.
Kate Steinle’s death falls squarely in the lap of the federal government.
The federal government should have deported Garcia Zarate upon his release from federal prison. Moreover, they are the reason he was in California to kill Kate Steinle. Furthermore, this was a golden opportunity to blame Obama. President Trump loves to do that. Why didn’t he? The reason is simple.
President Trump saw an opportunity to exploit this young woman’s death. Therefore, he jumped on it. His base hates illegal immigration. Furthermore, they hate sanctuary cities. Hence, he ignored the fact that the feds turned an illegal immigrant ripe for deportation over to a sanctuary city to try him for an outdated misdemeanor. They did this instead of deporting him while they had him.
He then whipped up such a public fury that the prosecution went big. The case was at best a negligent homicide. However, they charged Garcia Zarate with first degree murder. The jury would have to believe that a homeless man executed a trick shot skipping a round off the concrete to execute a premeditated murder in order to convict. Unsurprisingly, they did not.
What can we learn from Kate Steinle’s death?
The federal government is responsible for executing immigration law. They do a terrible job of this. Moreover, they have been doing worse, not better under President Trump. Deportations are down from Obama levels. Illegal immigration has surged to it’s highest level since 2007. Yes, this means it hasn’t been this bad since the last time a Republican was President.
Blaming sanctuary cities for illegal immigration isn’t the answer. The executive branch is charged with enforcing immigration law. They are blowing it. We will only fix this problem when we hold them accountable. President Trump is shifting the blame. He is attacking 10th Amendment protections for states to increase his own power. If he is doing so in an attempt to fix illegal immigration, the numbers clearly show he is failing.
We will not fix this problem until we fix the blame in the right place. President Obama should have deported Garcia Zarate. He did not. President Trump should have increased efforts to deport illegal immigrants. If he has tried, he is failing. He will not succeed until he focuses on the real problem instead of scapegoating cities and states. However, he will not do that until his base holds him accountable.