Writing in SF Gate, Carla Marinucci ponders the "likely political fallout" following the senseless murder of a young San Francisco woman by an illegal alien who had seven felonies to his credit and had been deported back to Mexico five times, but was still sheltered by the "sanctuary city" by the bay. Francisco Sanchez allegedly shot Kate Steinle for no apparent reason as she walked with her family on San Francisco's Pier 14.
In a statement Friday, presidential candidate Donald Trump, fresh on the heels of his controversial comments about Mexican immigrants bringing crime into America, said,
This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately. ... This is an absolutely disgraceful situation and I am the only one that can fix it. Nobody else has the guts to even talk about it.
In an email, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office shot back that “Mr. Trump’s opportunism and offensive anti-immigrant rhetoric have nothing to contribute to that effort.”
In the run-up to the 2016 election, Marinucci theorizes, "issues relating to criminal justice and immigration could become prominent at the national level and possibly fuel congressional calls to cut funding to San Francisco and other 'sanctuary cities.'” In San Francisco, city employees are barred from aiding ICE in raids, arrests or investigations unless “required by federal or state law, or a warrant.”
Among those political figures who could feel the heat is the pro-sanctuary Kamala Harris, California’s Democratic attorney general and possible replacement for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer. "Almost certain to be raised in her Senate race," writes Marinucci, "will be the case of Edwin Ramos, a longtime gang member from El Salvador, who was in the U.S. illegally in June 2008 when he shot and killed three members of a family in San Francisco — apparently mistaking Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, for rival gang members."
Ramos had committed a gang-related assault and an attempted robbery as a minor, but like Francisco Sanchez, was shielded in San Francisco from deportation.
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, up for re-election in November, and former San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who may run to replace state Sen. Mark Leno next year, may also have to answer questions about their roles in shaping the policies that led to Sanchez’s release.
In the understatement of the year, GOP Senate candidate Tom Del Beccaro said of Steinle’s death that it shows “the system is not working if we cannot keep out someone who has been deported this many times, with his record.”
Jessica Levinson, a political analyst and Loyola Law School professor, pushed back against would-be politicians like Trump using Steinle's murder to attack illegal immigrants:
Politically, the timing is great for Trump, because he has this heinous crime to point to, a tragic incident that appears to be the poster child that he’s right. But the truth is that undocumented immigrants are going to commit crimes ... as will the people who are born here.
No, the truth is that "undocumented immigrants" with criminal records won't be committing any more murders or rapes here if they are rightfully and permanently deported. And the truth is that Californian progressives like Kamala Harris and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, whose policies protect heinous criminals here illegally, are accomplices in their crimes like the disgusting murder of Kate Steinle.