Assuming that 45-year-old Francisco Sanchez is the right suspect, in the apparently random murder of Kathryn Steinle on Wednesday, 1 July, in San Francisco – and Sanchez is, of course, innocent until proven guilty – the case against lawless pro-illegal policies will be clear-cut.
The failure of Democrats and Republicans in Washington to cut off illegal entry across America’s southern border is why Sanchez was here in the first place. He’s here illegally, and he has already been deported five times.
He also has seven felony convictions in three different states (Arizona, Oregon, and Texas). According to the Daily Mail and NBC San Jose, he has “a slew of phony birth dates and aliases.” This all no doubt has something to do with why he’s been deported five times.
Yet he keeps getting back in. And here’s where the tale gets extra disgusting.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) turned Sanchez over to authorities in San Francisco on a drug felony warrant on 26 March. Let that sink in for a moment. ICE had Sanchez. Sanchez was handed over – reportedly to the San Francisco County sheriff – on a local drug warrant. (Note: San Francisco’s area government is a consolidated city-county government, in which the sheriff and city police have separate roles, but the governing body for all is the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.)
Now, with that in mind: ICE asked San Francisco at the time to notify the agency of Sanchez’s release, once the local authorities were done with him, and hold him on a “detainer” until ICE could pick him up.
San Francisco declined to do so. I’ll let an official of the sheriff’s department speak for the county and city on that head:
ICE issued a detainer for Sanchez in March, requesting notification of his release and that he stay in custody until immigration authorities could pick him up. The detainer was not honored, she said.
Freya Horne, counsel for the sheriff’s office, said Friday that federal detention orders are not a legal basis to hold someone, so Sanchez was released April 15. San Francisco is a sanctuary city, and local money cannot be spent to cooperate with federal immigration law.
The city does not turn over people who are in the country illegally unless there’s an active warrant for their arrest, she said. Horne said they checked and found none. ICE could have issued an active warrant if they wanted the city to keep him, she said.
“It’s not legal to hold someone on a request to detain. This is not just us. This is a widely adopted position,” Horne said.
So, to recap: San Francisco got Sanchez from ICE in response to their outstanding drug warrant. Even if they didn’t care about his illegal status and his five deportations, it is impossible that San Francisco did not know Sanchez had seven prior felony convictions. And yet, although ICE asked for Sanchez back after San Francisco was done with him, San Francisco refused to make sure ICE got him back.
San Francisco was so anxious to avoid cooperating with federal immigration law that the city-county simply did not care what might happen to one of its citizens when frequent recidivist Sanchez was released.
Let me say that again another way. San Francisco made a higher priority of ensuring non-cooperation with federal immigration agencies than of protecting the citizens of San Francisco.
San Francisco clearly cares more about catering to the lawless pro-illegal political lobby than about what happens to the innocent people of San Francisco. (Here’s the website with the San Francisco “sanctuary city” policy cited by Ms. Horne of the sheriff’s office.)
MSM shortchange the truth
Typically, the mainstream media reporting on this incident is a masterpiece of misdirection. On the ABC 7 Los Angeles news this afternoon, I saw the anchor narrating the story explain that “police had released Francisco Sanchez” a couple of months ago, saying that there was no way to hold him. This is effectively a lie, since it leaves out the important truth that Sanchez could have been turned back over to ICE, but wasn’t because of San Francisco policy.
A Reuters report this evening likewise takes the focus off the complicity of San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy. Reuters homes in on Donald Trump’s criticism of the event, trying to make Trump the story, and quickly bringing in his public dust-up with Univision and other companies that have cut ties with him in the last few days.
As for Sanchez, Reuters describes him mendaciously as “on probation from Texas.” This characterization misleadingly elides multiple facts about him, appearing to suggest that Sanchez is from Texas and skipped out on probation being administered by Texas.
In fact, Sanchez’s last known address was in Texas, but (a) he’s an illegal with multiple aliases; (b) ICE has held him since then; and (c) his most recent arrest and detention were for an offense charged in San Francisco. Authorities have declined to say which probation arrangement, related to which of his seven felony convictions in three states, is the one that had priority at the time he was arrested for the murder of Kathryn Steinle.
I’m sorry, but there’s something wrong with you if you don’t see that this is terrible. It’s an unconscionable abuse of the public trust, and the majority of Americans who oppose a mass amnesty to paper over this lawlessness are right to point at it and say, “This cannot be tolerated. How dare you do this in our name, and tell us that we are the problem?”
The face of legal immigration is all around us, in the lives of our neighbors and friends – our fellow Americans – and it’s a positive and uplifting thing.
The face of illegal immigration, and the whole political apparatus that facilitates it, is Francisco Sanchez and the snuffed-out life of a beautiful, beloved 32-year-old named Kathryn Steinle. Donald Trump, whatever his faults, is exactly right about that.