The Death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco Becomes a Rallying Cry for the Wall


The case of a young woman who was shot dead in San Francisco has become a rallying cry for those who want tougher immigration policies and a wall after a Mexican immigrant was acquitted of the murder of Kate Steinle.

The young woman was fatally shot on a stroll with her father in San Francisco’s Embarcadero.

A report in the Washington Post noted how her death became a rallying cry for more tougher immigration laws, including the building of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and a crackdown on “sanctuary cities.”

The acquittal in late 2017 of a Mexican immigrant charged with Kate Steinle’s death served to make calls for the border wall louder, the Post reported.

houses in a line

Death of Kate Steinle seized on my wall supporters

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was charged with the death of Kate Steinle.

The undocumented Mexican was acquitted of murder and involuntary manslaughter charges, as well as assault with a deadly weapon. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a sentence bringing a three-year sentence.

Immigration authorities deported Garcia Zarate five times before the incident. Prosecutors argued he intentionally shot Steinle, 32, with a handgun as she walked with her father on San Francisco’s Pier 14. Garcia Zarate’s defense attorney argued the shooting was accidental saying the bullet ricocheted off the ground and traveled about 80 feet before hitting Steinle.

After the trial, many people who advocate the building of the border wall took to social media. They used #KatesWall to condemn the acquittal of Garcia Zarate who was in the country illegally at the time of the incident.

Those posting on social media included white nationalist and alt-right leader Richard Spencer.

He pledged to be at Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, to demand President Trump build #KatesWall. President Trump has asked for funding for the border wall, but Congress has not yet agreed funding beyond an initial $20 million.

The Post reported Spencer is one of many on the right who were angered by the California jury’s acquittal of Garcia Zarate of not only murder, but also on the lesser charges of involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon.

Jurors were swayed by the defense that the shooting was accidental. Garcia Zarate, 45, has seven prior felony convictions.

Although the Trump administration highlights crimes committed by immigrants, studies suggest they are less likely to commit crimes than the American-born population.

A study by the University of Dallas questioned the assumption that immigrants commit more crimes.

If you need assistance with an immigration matter, please call our Austin immigration lawyers today at (512) 399-2311.

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