In the wake of the death of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco, California, last week by an immigrant in the country illegally, presidential candidates are now questioning whether or not policies referred to as “sanctuary cities” should be allowed to continue.
Steinle was allegedly shot by a man who had reportedly been deported five times and was returned to the U.S., specifically San Francisco, because of the city’s policy of not abiding by federal law in terms of how those in the country illegally are treated.
Other major cities, such as Chicago and Philadelphia, also follow these conditions, where authorities cannot detain an immigrant who might be in the country illegally if there is not probable cause. Specific to San Francisco, those detained cannot be held “unless they are supported by a judicial determination of probable cause or with a warrant of arrest,” Politico reported.
Despite commenting on the deaths of other Americans, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Trayvon Martin in Florida and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, President Barack Obama has yet to comment on any aspect of the case. White House press secretary Josh Earnest referred any questions about the case to the Department of Homeland Security, which primarily deals with international terrorist groups.
Presidential contenders have spoke out against the sanctuary city policy, saying these types of policies are endangering Americans’ lives.
On July 8, Republican candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told a crowd in New Hampshire that sanctuary cities are no longer needed.
“We ought to eliminate sanctuary cities. Talking about things the federal government can do, we shouldn’t provide law enforcement monies for cities like San Francisco until they change their policies,” Bush said at a town hall meeting at the Veterans of Foreign Wars facility, The New York Times reported.
Another GOP candidate, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, announced that he would be creating legislation to prevent all sanctuary cities from allowing violent criminals and immigrants in the country illegally with a federal criminal record to be allowed to stay in the U.S. Paul said the current immigration policy is not working and laws already on the books are not being enforced by the Obama administration.
“And they’re being flouted and basically laughed at by cities like San Francisco. There ought to be a revolution of folks saying, ‘We want you to obey the law,’ and making sure the president hears them loud and clear,” Paul said.