In San Francisco last week, Kate Steinle was laid to rest. Properly, the Steinle family barred the media from attending.
Those who knew Steinle describe her as loving, selfless, and an amazing soul who made everyone who knew her proud.
As for the enablers in Steinle’s murder at the hand of five-time deportee, seven-time convicted illegal alien Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez —San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Sheriff Ross Markarmi and the Board of Supervisors — some portray them as inept, callous, indifferent, cowardly and brazen in their defense of their sanctuary city policy.
When Jesse Watters, a Fox News correspondent on The O’Reilly Factor, appeared unannounced at a Board of Supervisors meeting and held up Steinle’s photograph, none of the officials looked up even as Watters urged them to do so.
Disappointingly, President Barack Obama remains silent.
Obama hasn’t extended condolences, and White House spokesman Josh Earnest cravenly refers reporters inquiring about Obama’s sentiments to the Homeland Security Department, an agency that takes its lead from the mum White House.
More than a week after Steinle’s murder, her story still dominates the news. During the days that have passed since her senseless killing, more frightening facts about the consequences of Obama’s stubborn refusal to enforce immigration laws have surfaced.
Illegal immigrants make up 3.5 percent of the U.S. population. But according to data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, of the nearly 75,000 federal cases in fiscal year 2014 that resulted in a sentence, illegal immigrants like Lopez-Sanchez comprised nearly 37 percent of all cases.
Broken down, the primary offenses include drug trafficking cases (16.8 percent), kidnapping/hostage taking (20 percent), drug possession (74.1 percent), money laundering (12.3 percent) and murder convictions (12 percent).
Furthermore, Center for Immigration Studies policy director Jessica Vaughn found through a Freedom of Information Act request that in the first eight months of last year, more than 8,100 alien offenders sought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco were released instead of turned over for deportation.
In this eight-month period alone, approximately 1,900 of these deportable convicts re-offended 4,300 more times, and racked up 7,500 new charges. Their subsequent crimes include murder, sexual assault on minor children, rape, burglary, assault, dangerous drug offenses and drunken driving. More than 1,000 of the released aliens are still at large.
The Republican-controlled Congress is painfully silent on what action it plans to take to eliminate dangerous sanctuary cities. Leadership has issued vague, demoralizing statements about its options.
“You could hear from Congress,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “There will be discussions.”
But Americans don’t want more bombast about cracking down on illegal immigration that goes nowhere. They want fast action which, says Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., could happen assuming the political will exists.
Earlier this week, Hunter reintroduced legislation — the “Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act” — that would defund cities that refuse to cooperate with ICE. Similar bills have been introduced in the Senate.
Last year, $761 million in funding was provided to municipalities through Justice Department grants to offset the cost of jailing illegal aliens. But some of those municipalities are sanctuary cities that shouldn’t be getting money since they don’t comply with federal immigration officials’ requests.
Hunter logically wonders why the federal government gives money to local law enforcement agencies that repeatedly flout federal law whenever they release criminal aliens. At least 200 sanctuary havens throughout the United States collectively thumb their noses at federal immigration law and have outrageously, defiantly written their own laws.
Unless Congress acts quickly, more tragedies like Steinle’s are inevitable.
— Joe Guzzardi is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), and has been nationally syndicated since 1987. He can be reached at email@example.com. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.