Congressman unveils bill to imprison officials who shelter illegal immigrants after Steinle verdict

by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | December 5, 2017 4:41 pm

The Kate Steinle verdict stunned millions of Americans and left us speechless. How is it possible for someone who shouldn’t have even been in this country to get away with murdering an American citizen? Something that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago has now come to pass, horrifying those of us who had faith in the justice system. Her killer, José Inez García Zárate, had seven felony convictions and had been deported five times. He was acquitted of first and second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. He also was found not guilty of assault with a semi-automatic weapon.

Zarate’s attorneys argued Zarate had found a gun that accidentally discharged and the bullet ricocheted off the ground before hitting Steinle. Prosecutors argued Zarate intentionally shot 32 year-old Steinle. That gun was stolen out of a federal law enforcement vehicle. I understand that Zarate threw the gun in the bay after the shooting. Not exactly the actions of an innocent man.

President Trump, who frequently cited Steinle’s case on the campaign trail, called the not-guilty verdict “disgraceful” and a “complete travesty of justice.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions took direct aim at the city, saying San Francisco’s “decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.” Federal charges are now being readied against Zarate and he is to be deported. The DOJ released an amended arrest warrant for Zarate for a supervised release violation.

Now one Republican in Indiana has decided that enough is enough; we need to hold accountable both the criminals and the people who enable them to continue committing crimes on American soil by protecting them from local law enforcement as well as ICE.


Rep. Todd Rokita is introducing the Stopping Lawless Actions of Politicians’ (SLAP) Act in response to the Steinle verdict, which only found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate guilty of unlawful possession of a handgun. Apparently having a gun is more important to the state of California than shooting and killing a young woman who was just enjoying the view from the pier with her father. Rokita’s bill follows a similar attempt in Texas to punish local officials who ignore federal requests to hold and then potentially turn over suspects for possible deportation. That law is the subject of a federal court challenge currently.

San Francisco has set Zarate free again in direct violation of an immigration ICE detainer. This happened three months before the murder of Kate Steinle. The federal authorities had no idea where he was until he was arrested for shooting the woman.

“The American people are rightfully infuriated watching politicians put their open-borders ideology before the rule of law, and the safety of the people they represent. Politicians don’t get to pick and choose what laws to comply with,” Rokita said. “Americans are dying because politicians sworn to uphold the law refuse to do so. It’s time the federal government gets serious about enforcing immigration laws and holding politicians accountable who conspire to break them.” I could not agree more and if they are going to wantonly disregard federal law, then they themselves are criminals and should have to answer for it. No one is above the law in this country.

So, what exactly would the SLAP Act do to protect Americans? Well, first of all, it would punish officials for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities and would directly target sanctuary cities which are harboring illegal aliens within their borders, protecting them from facing justice for their crimes.

The punishment for refusing to comply would include a $1 million fine and five years in prison, which is too lenient in my opinion, considering some of the traumatic experiences Americans have had to face at the hands of illegals who were protected by bleeding-heart politicians. It doesn’t mitigate the heinous crime of rape or bring back a loved one who was murdered by an illegal alien.

That being said, I’m glad someone is willing to say what the rest of us are thinking: The politicians who are making it possible for these people to continue breaking the law need to be punished. They don’t get to decide what laws are worth enforcing, because this legal relativism is extremely dangerous for the rest of us who are just trying to live our lives.

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