More Questions Than Answers: The Murder of Kate Steinle
Does the United States need to reform its immigration policy?
The recent acquittal announcement of a five-time deportee and seven-time felon in the shooting death of 32 year old innocent bystander Kate Steinle, has fanned the flames of a national dialogue surrounding the issue of "sanctuary cities." For those that may not know, a sanctuary city "is a city that limits its cooperation with the federal government to enforce immigration law." It doesn't matter how big of a danger an undocumented immigrant may be to the public, "assuming" a track record of violence, rape, drug-dealing, etc...These so-called "safe havens" will grant you with protection, immunity, and then eventually you simply meld into the community. San Francisco, the site of the shooting, has a "sanctuary policy," and now there's a large outcry of people who want a tighter, more stringent immigration policy.We can all agree it's a polarizing topic which can have major implications on our country going forward.
Lets face it, a big part of the reason why this has become such a heated debate is because of President Trump's hardline stance against illegal immigration along with the millions of conservative thinkers that happen to agree with him. As a matter of fact, Trump used the shooting death of Steinle as a political point during his campaign, decrying illegal immigration. I find it off-putting, however, that just because you detest Trump that you have to be on the other side of this particular case. The murder of Kate Steinle is not a partisan issue; it's writing on the wall common sense. I would hope that any person (regardless if you're pro-immigrant) with an ounce of moral fiber and an objective opinion, could at least take a look about what we as Americans should do about our policy on "sanctuary cities" after a tragedy like this. This would be a great opportunity for pro and anti-immigration people to find a common ground. Nowadays, it feels as if people are dug so deep in their own trenches, that concurrence is looking bleak going forward. The mud-slinging and labeling that's thrown around doesn't help the situation. How can you have a productive conversation when you're calling each other racist, snowflake, xenophobe, homophobe, Nazi, communist, and so on...? Getting past nasty name calling is priority number one because it furthers the divide.
That said, this was a miscarriage of justice--plain and simple. The first thought that I had was, "Not even involuntary manslaughter?". The definition of involuntary manslaughter reads, "An unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence." Now I'm no legal expert but doesn't that describe the situation here? The suspect, in his confession, revealed that he had taken some sleeping pills that he had found in a dumpster and subsequently wandered over to a bench in the area known as Pier 14, located in the eastern waterfront district of San Francisco. The suspect then told police that he discovered a handgun wrapped in a blanket under the bench where he was sitting. He first claimed that decided to pick it up and shoot at sea lions for target practice but one of the bullets ricocheted off the ground and hit Kate accidentally, which later changed to the gun simply discharged in his hands as he was picking it up with the same end result. The facts are laid right out in front of you. So I ask the jury, why throw out the first and second degree murder charges without consideration of involuntary manslaughter? No matter how you dice it, a life was taken unintentionally as a result of reckless negligence.
The fact that angers many sound-minded people the most is that a young woman's life was taken and a killer simply goes scot-free with nothing more than a slap on the wrist for an illegal firearm possession charge and a ride home(deportation) . Essentially saying, "You can recklessly kill somebody by committing manslaughter here in California, but that's okay we'll get you a plane or a bus ticket as soon as possible, sir. By the way, you're warmly welcome here in the city of San Francisco, if you decide to visit our great city on your next trip!" The death of Kate Steinle will serve as a seminal moment in American history because of the raising of a broader issue on everyone's minds at this writing. The winner of the immigration debate at the polls as a result of an overriding opinion, will determine which direction our nation goes. What will win out? A lax open-border approach on immigration that embraces sanctuary cities or a more stringent and closed-border policy? Time will tell.