Jim Steinle, the father of the late Kate Steinle, testified before a Senate panel Monday to offer support for legislation that would impose a mandatory sentence on deported illegal immigrants who re-enter the United States. The 32-year-old was murdered earlier this month, allegedly by an illegal immigrant who re-entered the country multiple times.
“The day she was killed, we were walking arm in arm on Pier 14 in San Francisco enjoying a wonderful day together. Suddenly a shot rang out, Kate fell and said, ‘Help me, dad,’” Steinle told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The illegal immigrant charged in Kate Steinle’s death, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, not only confessed to the murder but admitted to going to San Francisco because of its “sanctuary city” policy, meaning it does not enforce federal immigration law.
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“Unfortunately, due to disjointed laws and basic incompetence on many levels, the U.S. has suffered a self-inflicted wound in the murder of our daughter by the hand of a person that should’ve never been on the streets of this country,” Steinle continued. “I say this because the alleged murderer is an undocumented immigrant who’s been convicted of seven felonies in the U.S. and already deported five times. Yet in March of this year, he was released from jail and allowed to stay here freely because of those legal loopholes.”
A proposal spearheaded by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly entitled “Kate’s Law” would mandate a five-year prison sentence for anyone who re-enters the country illegally after being deported. A bill with those guidelines introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., H.R. 3011, has received support from other members of Congress including Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas. Steinle hopes to lend his daughter’s name to the passage of some form of legislation.
Our family realizes the complexion of legal immigration laws, however we feel strongly that some legislation should be discussed, enacted or changed to take these undocumented immigrant felons off our streets for good. We’d be proud to see Kate’s name associated with some of this new legislation. We feel if Kate’s Law saves one daughter, one son, a mother, a father, Kate’s death won’t be in vain.
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