Following Thursday’s shocking acquittal of a Mexican man in the shooting of Kate Steinle, FOX News reports that the Department of Justice is considering bringing federal charges against Jose Ines Garcia Zarate.
“We’re looking at every option and we will prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law because these cases are tragic and entirely preventable,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told Fox & Friends. “This is a person who had been deported five times—he knew about San Francisco’s sanctuary policies. This is a person that never should have been on that pier, and Kate Steinle would still be alive.”
Flores suggested charges could include felong re-entry, according to the Fox News report. Garcia Zarate had been deported from the United States five times before the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a scathing statement on the verdict Thursday evening, criticizing San Francisco and other sanctuary cities.
“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk. San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle. While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle’s death-a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer-the people ultimately convicted him of felon in possession of a firearm,” Sessions said.
“The Department of Justice will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens. I urge the leaders of the nation’s communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers,” he continued.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said they would move to take custody of Garcia Zarate and remove him from the country once he has served his local sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm.