Kathryn Steinle grew up in Pleasanton and went to Amador Valley High School. After graduation, she attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she studied communication. She was described as being close to her family.
Her mother, 69-year-old Liz Sullivan remembers, “We’re very fortunate that we are an extremely close family. She would come and spend the night several nights. It was just so, so special. We would take naps together. I’m so thankful for that.”
Her neighbors recall a thoughtful, caring girl. Patrick Dunlap, 74, moved next door to the family in Pleasanton in 1984 and remembered Steinle growing up “from a little kid into a very personable young woman.” He spoke of her coming by his home when she was 6 years old to deliver flowers to his daughter, who had broken her arm.
“This little girl looked up and said, ‘This is for the girl with the broken arm.’”
If you haven’t heard of Kate, don’t be too surprised. Liberals would like her story kept as quiet as possible because it is just one of many that prove that sanctuary cities are a danger to everyone.
Her father hauntingly describes the last hours he spend with Kate as she died. “There was a pop, and Kate went down,” 68-year-old Jim Steinle told reporters. He immediately began CPR before paramedics arrived and rushed his daughter into an ambulance.
Kate Steinle had just sent her mother a quintessential San Francisco picture — a photo of her, her father and a family friend on the scenic waterfront of the Embarcadero. Only 5 minutes later, with her father’s arm around her shoulder, she suddenly collapsed on Pier 14 just south of the Ferry Building. She had been struck in the chest by a bullet.
Her killer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, never should have been on the pier that day. In fact, he never should have been in the country.
Lopez-Sanchez was arrested and charged with second-degree murder five days after Steinle’s death. He is a seven-time felon and has been deported from the country five times. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder, as he insisted that the gun had fired on its own when he picked it up. The gun had been stolen from a BLM ranger’s backpack through the broken window of a nearby parked car.
His multiple convictions and deportations continued and the last one resulted in a four-year prison sentence for illegal re-entry and charges of marijuana sales. Lopez-Sanchez was released from prison in April 2015.
He was picked up about a month before the murder and detained by San Francisco sheriffs. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a detainer request to the sheriff’s department asking to be notified before Lopez-Sanchez’s release. ICE wanted to take him into custody to being deportation proceedings.
The department then released the man back onto the streets of their sanctuary city.
The sheriff, Ross Markirimi issued a memo specifically ordering his deputies not to cooperate with ICE. Markirimi told reporters told reporters at a news conference that his department followed procedure and local laws when they released Lopez Sanchez.
They decided that local policy calling for the release and protection of illegal immigrants was more important than the request from the federal government. In doing so, they condemned Kate Steinle to death. Her crime was living in one of many sanctuary cities across the country.
San Francisco’s so-called “sanctuary policy,” was altered and re-affirmed earlier this year. It bans city employees from cooperating with federal immigration officials in deportation efforts. The law dates to 1989. Advocates of sanctuary protections say a clear division between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities is needed to foster trust.
Kate’s parents have since filed suit against the San Francisco County Sheriff, the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), and the Bureau of Land Management for unjustified actions due to the illegal immigrant status of her killer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who was also sued by the family.
They claim that all three institutions are responsible for their daughter’s death. Steinle’s parents asserted that the sheriff’s department violated the city’s sanctuary policy, failing to inform federal immigration officials that Lopez-Sanchez was being released from prison, dismissing the ICE’s request to keep him detained.
They claim their daughter’s death was preventable and would not have occurred if city officials had adhered to various policies, laws, regulations and had taken appropriate action.
On the surface, the lawsuit appears to be heartbreaking but straightforward. However, liberals are determined to do anything it takes to make this family go away. The U.S. government and the City of San Francisco are asking Kate Steinle’s family to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit.
It is not enough to be responsible for her death, now the government wants to victimize her family further. They are defending the sanctuary city policies and more cities and even schools are declaring themselves safe for illegals. Where should Americans go to be safe?
President Trump previously expressed his condolences to the family and called Kate’s death “very, very sad.” In his statement following the tragedy, Trump added that the “senseless and totally preventable act of violence” was “yet another example of why we must secure our border. Nobody else has the guts to even talk about it; the American people deserve a wall.”
Meanwhile, Kate’s family will fight to hold on to their only hope for some accountability. Over a year after her death, it was announced on Friday, December 2 that a federal judge is contemplating whether or not to dismiss the lawsuit.
Justice is the remaining route for Kate’s grieving family to find some closure. It is an insufficient comfort but it is what the government can offer.
Politics have no place in this. Misguided liberal agendas killed Kate Steinle and we must not allow it to go any further.
No American should ever die at the hands an illegal immigrant. We will deport these criminals and build the wall!