“Letting people pour into our country, we don’t know who they are, we don’t know where they come from ― you saw what happened with beautiful Kate Steinle,” the president said at his rally in Pensacola, referring to the 2015 fatal shooting of a woman in San Francisco that has become a flashpoint for the right in calling for stricter immigration. “That was a total miscarriage of justice.”
“The real changes that we’re facing are the drugs and the gangs pouring into our country, the millions of people overstaying their visas,” Trump continued. “And sanctuary cities that set free violent criminal aliens all over our country and protect them.”
“I mean, you go to Kate, who was such a beautiful young American woman, killed on a pier in San Francisco in the prime of her life. She was killed by this guy, an illegal alien who had been deported five times,” Trump added. “San Francisco is a sanctuary city, in other words, a city run by politicians who would rather protect criminal aliens than American citizens.”
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was found not guilty last week of murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Steinle. Garcia Zarate had been deported five times prior to her death and had several felony convictions related to drugs or illegal re-entry ― but none for violence. His lawyers argued that, although he did shoot the gun, it was an accident that the bullet, which ricocheted off the ground, struck her.
The federal government has recently charged Garcia Zarate with new immigration and gun counts. He was indicted earlier this week.
Conservatives have often seized on the Steinle case to try to paint sanctuary cities as dangerous and to call for stricter immigration enforcement.