This Law Is for Kate

John Boehner

Kate Steinle was a 32-year-old woman living in San Francisco, working at a medical company. This very weekend, two years ago, her life was suddenly cut short when she was shot and killed by a convicted felon.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez was an illegal immigrant with a rough criminal record of seven felonies. Not only that, but he had been caught already by authorities and deported—not once, not twice, but five times. This man should not have been on the streets. But on July 1st, he was roaming free around San Francisco. He stole a gun out of a federal officer’s car, fired shots in public, and shot Kate Steinle in the back.

Every murder is horrible, but perhaps the most haunting aspects of this crime was that it was so preventable.

San Francisco is a so-called “sanctuary city.” But this sanctuary city was not a sanctuary at all—not for Kate it wasn’t. By shielding criminal illegal immigrants from federal authorities, sanctuary cities are disobeying the law. And these actions have had fatal consequences. These cities are letting criminals like Lopez-Sanchez run free.

Sadly, Kate is just one of many victims. Sarah Root is another. She was killed in January of last year by an illegal immigrant who was drunk behind the wheel. In January 2015, Grant Ronneback was murdered at a convenience store by a convicted felon facing deportation who was free on bond.

This cannot stand. This week, the House will take action on two initiatives to protect law-abiding citizens.

One of these bills is named for Kate Steinle. H.R. 3004 is Kate’s Law and it will toughen the punishment for illegal immigrants who re-enter the country.

The second bill is H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which cracks down on sanctuary cities and protects the public from dangerous criminals. In particular, it withholds federal grants from the cities that don’t cooperate with federal law enforcement.

We have a duty to protect our citizens. Let’s pass this legislation for Kate. Let’s pass it for Sarah and Grant. Let’s pass it to stop more people from becoming victims of senseless, preventable tragedies.

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