On Thursday, a jury in San Francisco found a Mexican man not guilty in the murder of Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier. The case had sparked a national debate on immigration two years ago. The accused man, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation at the time of the murder.
After a huge debate was sparked across the country, many cities started making themselves “sanctuary cities,” meaning they have decided they will reduce fear of deportation by having limited cooperation with the federal government. San Francisco continues to defend their sanctuary city policy despite Thursday’s verdict.
Now, Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN) has introduced a bill that would impose tough penalties on elected officials in sanctuary cities. Rokita’s bill says:
‘Under the Stopping Lawless Actions of Politicians (SLAP) Act, state and local lawmakers could face up to five years of prison time and a fine of up to $1 million for refusing to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts.’
About the proposed bill, Rokita said on Fox & Friends:
‘These sanctuary cities need to end. They harbor illegal criminals. And if these politicians don’t obey a valid, constitutionally-upheld federal law, if they’re going to act like criminals themselves, then we ought to lock them up.’
Zarate has been deported back to Mexico five times and had been released from a San Francisco jail three months before the shooting. There had a been a federal request that they hold him for deportation.
Rokita says that they ignored a federal custody order so it should be treated as a felony. According to Fox News Insider:
‘He said the bill is “picking up steam,” and he expects to get more support as his fellow lawmakers learn more about it.’
An editorial in The Washington Post described the Trump administration’s crusade against immigrants as an attack on America. According to The Post:
‘The Trump administration likes to justify its multi-front crusade against immigration and immigrants as a revival of the rule of law, or a recalibration of the rules to favor disadvantaged American workers. In fact, it is largely a resurrection of xenophobia that coincides with a spike, nearly 50 years in the making, in the number of foreign-born residents living in the United States.’
In October, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a speech:
‘For decades, the American people have been begging and pleading . . . for an immigration system that’s lawful and serves the national interest. Now we have a president who supports that.’
The Post piece continued saying:
‘The administration’s goal is not to reshape America’s immigration policy but to prune immigration itself. While Trump backs a GOP plan that would give preference to immigrants with skills rather than family connections in the United States, the effect would be not simply to shift the mix while maintaining the current level of legal immigration but to drastically reduce overall numbers of admissions.’
What all of it amounts to is a targeted attack on immigrants with little regard to previous programs that have been established to assist immigrants or the precedent that has already been set in terms of U.S. immigration. This country is becoming a dangerous place for anyone who is not white, male, or Christian. We are steadily tracking backwards.
Here is a collection of tweets about Rokita’s proposed bill:
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