Why Kate Steinle’s dad doesn’t want his daughter’s name used in immigration debate anymore

Kate Steinle’s father has asked that out of respect for his daughter’s memory, that her name be kept out of any future debate centered on illegal immigration.

She was the 32-year-old woman who was allegedly shot by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, on a San Francisco and dies in her father;s arms.

Lopez-Sanchez was reportedly a felon who’d been deported multiple times before the July 1, 2015 shooting, and was charged with first-degree murder, possession of illegal narcotics and being a felon in possession of a firearm. San Francisco was his U.S. city of choice because of its sanctuary status.

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Because of her tragic death, undocumented immigration has become a hot-button issue, including jurisdictions declaring themselves to be sanctuaries for individuals who have entered the country illegally.

Most recently the U.S. House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate a bill that became known as “Kate’s Law,” which would impose lengthy sentences on violent criminals who re-enter the U.S. after having been deported.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last month that “[Kate] would still be alive today if only the city of San Francisco had put the public’s safety first. How many more Americans must die before we put an end to this madness?”

After theHouse approved the measure, President Trump urged the Senate to do the same.

“Opposing these bills, and allowing dangerous criminals back into our communities, our schools and the neighborhoods where our children play, puts all of us at risk,” the president said at the time.

“I don’t know who coined ‘Kate’s Law,’” Jim Steinle, her father, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It certainly wasn’t us.”

Notwithstanding it’s popularized name, Jim Steinle supports the idea if “Kate’s Law” on the chance that it may save at least one life.

Steinle said that he especially bristled at the manner in which the lawyer of his daughter’s accused killer portrayed his client. Matt Gonzalez, Lopez-Sanchez’s lawyer, wrote what the Chronicle called a callous and disingenuous Open Forum piece last week of the shooting and his client. The paper reported:

Its callousness was in the way it portrayed the defendant as a hapless victim who picked up a pistol that discharged accidentally. Its disingenuousness was in its dubious claim that “Kate’s Law” would not have kept him in prison — the law’s treatment of repeat offenders would have seriously curtailed his chance of release — and its highly refuted characterization of the weapon’s alleged “hair trigger” tendencies.

Gonzalez, who expressed not a word of sympathy for Kate or the Steinle family in the piece, had no right to suggest that “Kate’s Law” would “in no way honor her memory.”

 

Steinle said that after speaking to the Chronicle, he has no interest in doing any more interviews. And no one can blame him.

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“You just hope it ends someday,” he said. “I don’t know when.”

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