The Kate Steinle Verdict – What Americans Need to Know

On Thursday, a jury acquitted Jose Ines Garcia Zarate of all homicide charges filed in connection with the murder of Kate Steinle.  That verdict baffled ordinary citizens and legal experts alike.

The media has yet to interview any of the jurors in the case, so it’s impossible to know whether this was a case of “jury nullification,” or whether the prosecution fell asleep at the wheel.  Either way, most  Americans are astounded that an illegal alien who killed a U.S. citizen could be acquitted by a sane jury.

Here’s what Americans need to know about this case:

Sanctuary City Policies Are Dangerous

  • Garcia Zarate is a Mexican citizen who was deported five times – and re-entered the United States illegally – prior to shooting Ms. Steinle.
  • He had seven felony convictions at the time of the shooting.
  • S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had asked the San Francisco County Sheriff to hold Garcia Zarate for arrest and deportation prior to Ms. Steinle’s murder.
  • San Francisco is a so-called “sanctuary city” that refuses to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, so Garcia Zarate was released to the streets.
  • Had the sheriff complied with ICE’s request, Garcia Zarate would not have been on the streets and, therefore, could not have killed Ms. Steinle.

Weak Immigration Enforcement May Prove Deadly

  • The federal government deserves some of the blame for mishandling Garcia Zarate’s case.
  • Individuals who re-enter the U.S. after deportation are guilty of “Criminal Re-Entry.”
  • Federal law enforcement authorities could have arrested Garcia Zarate and charged him under federal Criminal Re-Entry statutes.
  • Criminal Re-Entry carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
  • Failure to enforce our immigration laws has resulted in the death of many U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants.

The federal government has tolerated dangerous state and local sanctuary policies for far too long. American citizens, lawful immigrants, and even other illegal aliens keep becoming victims of alien criminals because too many presidential administrations have refused to take immigration enforcement seriously.

President Trump has the right idea. It’s time to get serious about enforcing our immigration laws. We must secure our borders with a physical barrier, eliminate dangerous sanctuary policies, and start taking immigration enforcement seriously.

Americans deserve to be safe in their own communities – but they won’t be if we allow the Garcia Zarate’s of the world to stroll across our borders at will.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    The majority of Americans don’t want sanctuary cities, why are we paying for them they get free healthcare, education, food, lawyers, interpreters the list goes on and on. We CITIZENs are paying over 500.00 dollars a month for our healthcare and drugs, I just finished paying off my student loan at age 59, I would love a free lawyer also we are drowning, help us not illegals

  2. avatar
    Kathleen Burmaster on

    There should not be one sanctuary city in the United States of America. We can rightfully blame this whole situation on barack obama. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Ms. Steinle. Justice was not served. Nothing will bring Ms. Steinle back but this murderous act would not have occurred if barack obama had not flooded the USA with illegal immigrants.

  3. avatar

    Illegal immigration not only cost lives it cost US tax payers a lot of money. Money that could be used to secure our borders and protect our citizens. We must build a wall to funnel the flow of illegals sneaking across our border. Putting a stop to this madness is long over due. Another thing that I don’t here any one talking about is the quality of services being provided by illegal immigrant coming from our southern border. My first jobs back in the 80s debt with home constitution and I don’t remember there being a lot of illegals building our homesick then. The homes we built were built to last and now with the large amount of illegals building them the quality has plummeted. I have noticed the high number of problems with newer homes lately which cost home ones even more money and when we call someone to fix these problems we just get more unqualified illegal immigrants that show up to do a poor job. There are numerous problems caused by the massive flow of illegal immigration. If we can’t find a way to fix this problem our average middle class tax payers will continue to make ends meet and it will only get worse. Please find a way to get the American jobs and money back into the hands of our citizens.

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