On July 2, Kathryn Steinle decided to go for an evening stroll with her father along the San Francisco waterfront.
It was the last stroll the 32-year-old medical technology worker would ever take.
They were walking near Pier 14–a favorite area of the city’s tourists–when a pistol shot rang out.
Steinle, hit in the aorta, collapsed, crying, “Dad, help me, help me.”
Her father immediately gave her CPR before paramedics rushed Steinle to a hospital, where she died.
Her accused killer: Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, 45, an illegal alien with a history of seven felony convictions. He had been deported to his native Mexico five times, most recently in 2009.
On March 26, agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) turned Sanchez over to San Francisco police on an outstanding warrant.
On March 27, a San Francisco Superior Court judge dismissed charges of possession and distribution of marijuana against Sanchez.
Sanchez was released on April 15.
ICE had issued a detainer for Sanchez in March, requesting to be notified if he would be released. But the detainer was not honored.
The reason? San Francisco has been a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens since 1989. Its civic officials–acting as though they govern a city-state instead of a small, tourism-dependent city–openly defy Federal immigration laws.
As a result, city and local money cannot be spent on cooperating with Federal immigration authorities.
San Francisco is just one of 31 “sanctuary cities”: Washington, D.C.; New York City; Los Angeles, Chicago; Santa Ana; San Diego; Salt Lake City; Phoenix; Dallas; Houston; Austin; Detroit; Jersey City; Minneapolis; Miami; Denver; Baltimore; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; New Haven, Connecticut; and Portland, Maine.
Kathryn Steinle died because San Francisco authorities chose to defy the legal authority of the Federal Government.
But this is not the first time San Francisco officials have defied Federal immigration authorities–with brutal consequences for American-born citizens.
One of those officials–Kamala Harris–is now California’s Attorney General.
From 2004 to 2011, Harris had served as District Attorney for San Francisco. In total defiance of Federal immigration law, she set up a secret unit to keep even convicted illegal aliens out of prison–and in the United States.
Her program, called Back on Track, trained them for jobs they could not legally hold.
One such alumnus was Alexander Izaguirre, an illegal alien who had pled guilty to selling cocaine. Four months later, in July, 2008, he assaulted Amanda Kiefer, a legal San Francisco resident.
Snatching her purse, he jumped into an SUV, then tried to run Kiefer down. Terrified, she leaped onto the hood and saw Izaguirre and a driver laughing.
The driver slammed on the brakes, sending Kiefer flying onto the pavement and fracturing her skull.
The program, Back on Track, became a centerpiece of Harris’ campaign for state Attorney General in 2010.
Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County District Attorney (2000-2012) ran against Harris for the position. He could have raised Harris’ defiance of Federal law against her: The Los Angeles Times had broken the story in 2009.
But Cooley didn’t have the courage to do it.
Until she was questioned by the Los Angeles Times about the Izaguirre case, Harris had never publicly admitted that the program included illegal aliens.
Harris claimed she first learned that illegal aliens were training for jobs only after Izaguirre was arrested for the Kiefer assault.
Harris said it was a “flaw in the design” of the program to let illegal aliens into the program. “I believe we fixed it,” she told the Times.
Harris never released statistics on how many illegal aliens were included since the program started in 2005.
She said that after Izaguirre’s arrest she never asked–or learned–how many illegal aliens were in Back on Track.
When Harris learned that illegal aliens were enrolled, she allowed those who were following the rules to finish the program and have their criminal records expunged.
It is not the duty of local law enforcement, she said, to enforce Federal immigration laws.
So much for her oath to faithfully defend the Constitution of the United States and that of the state of California “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
From 2005 to 2009, 113 admitted drug dealers graduated from Back on Track. Another 99 were kicked off the program for failing to meet the requirements. They were sentenced under their guilty plea, the D.A.’s office claimed.
Harris told the Times that graduates of Back on Track were less likely than other offenders to commit crimes again. But her spokeswoman refused to offer detailed statistics to back this up.
When Harris became San Francisco District Attorney, she vowed she would “never charge the death penalty.” Her opposition to capital punishment would be better-suited to a public defender.
Meanwhile, Amanda Kiefer left California. Interviewed by the Times, she said she could not understand why San Francisco police and prosecutors would allow convicted illegal aliens back onto the streets.
“If they’re committing crimes,” she said, “I think there’s something wrong that they’re not being deported.”
It’s a sentiment that law-abiding Americans agree with. And it should go double for those who are charged with enforcing the law.