Kate Steinle murder verdict sparks legislation to hold elected officials criminally responsible

Todd Rokita

WASHINGTON – Last Thursday’s jury verdict, and ensuing outrage, that found illegal alien Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty in the 2015 shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, prompted Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., to introduce H.R. 4526, “Stopping Lawless Actions of Politicians” (SLAP) Act on Monday.

Zarate, who was only found guilty of being a felon in possession of a weapon, was found not guilty of first degree and second degree murder as well as involuntary manslaughter, after he claimed the gun he found wrapped in a T-shirt under a bench accidentally discharged and the bullet ricocheted, striking and killing Steinle as she was walking with her father on the San Francisco pier.

Zarate, a seven-time convicted felon, had been previously deported five times.

However, due to San Francisco’s sanctuary policies, instead of being turned over to ICE on a detainer request, Zarate was released back onto the streets.

The bill would subject state and local elected officials to criminal penalties of up to a $1 million fine and/or five years in prison if convicted for refusing to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts and sheltering illegal immigrant criminals from deportation.

Rokita said, “It’s time the federal government gets serious about enforcing immigration laws and holding politicians accountable who conspire to break them.”

As the Steinle case pointed out, Rokita said Americans were dying because politicians refuse to uphold the laws they took an oath to uphold and politicians can’t simply pick and choose the laws with which they wish to comply.

Rokita also supported H.R. 3004 “Kate’s Law,” which passed the House in June, imposing mandatory minimum prison sentences on illegal immigrants upon reentry to United States after being deported.

However, Kate’s Law has stalled in the Senate since it was received on July 10.