Kate Steinle's Family to Sue ICE After Murder: 'The System Failed My Sister'

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Sep 01, 2015 3:00 PM
Kate Steinle's Family to Sue ICE After Murder: 'The System Failed My Sister'

Kate Steinle's family is seeking justice in their daughter's premature death at the hands of an illegal immigrant. Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who'd been arrested and deported multiple times, should never have been allowed to walk on the Embarcadero. Yet, our porous border and weak customs enforcement allowed Sanchez to reenter the United States and go on a shooting spree the same night Steinle happened to be walking along a San Francisco pier with her dad. She died in her dad's arms.

Now, her parents are suing the city's sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and The Bureau of Land Management for not doing more to prevent a criminal like Sanchez from coming back across the border. Her mom, Liz Sullivan, said the tragedy demands action:

"Everyone can’t keep saying this is the way it is — it isn’t the way it has to be. We have to stand up and say we’re mad as hell we’re not going to take it anymore,” Sullivan said.

In their lawsuit, the Steinle family is likely to specifically target sanctuary city policies like the one in place in San Francisco. These policies prohibit city employees from partnering with federal authorities to investigate or punish illegal immigrants. In jail, Sanchez admitted San Francisco's sanctuary city status enticed him to locate there. Sheriff Mirkarimi reportedly had Sanchez in custody, and released him without alerting ICE.

Several government agencies' lack of oversight led to Steinle's death, her family insisted at a press conference in front of San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday.

"We're frustrated and we're here to make sure that a change is made so that no one has to endure the pain my mom, dad and I go through on a daily basis because the system failed our sister," said Kate Steinle's brother, Brad, in between sobs. 

Politicians and pundits alike have challenged these dangerous sanctuary city laws. In July, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly first called on Congress to pass Kate's Law, which would give a mandatory five-year prison sentence to any illegal immigrant with a criminal past who reenters the US. Univision reporter Jorge Ramos, for some irrational reason, said that suggestion was 'unfair.'

A judge is expected to push the case forward on Thursday.