Mike Morrell to introduce resolution in support of ‘Kate’s Law’
A bill has been introduced in Congress in response to the killing of a woman in San Francisco by a previously deported convicted felon. Kathryn Steinle was shot and killed at San Francisco’s Pier 14 two weeks ago. The man who allegedly shot her is Francisco Sanchez, a Mexican native who has been deported five times and has felony arrests in four states.
The incident has sparked a national debate about sanctuary cites, cities that do not turn undocumented immigrants over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. State Senator Mike Morrell plans to introduce a Senate Joint Resolution at the State Capitol that would urge Congress to pass legislation inhibiting the ability of sanctuary cities to harbor deported criminals.
“Sanctuary cities across the country have willingly defied the federal government in choosing to protect criminals over the lives of law-abiding citizens,” said Morrell. “Kathryn’s death is a tragic example of the dangers these policies pose for our neighborhoods and communities.”
The legislation would increase penalties on previously deported persons who have been convicted of a felony. It would require such persons to serve a mandatory five-year prison sentence.
“Congress needs to remove the incentive for convicted criminals to defiantly return to the United States after deportation,” continued Morrell. “As legislators, we must join together in recognizing that it is the duty of all elected officials to preserve the safety of those we represent.”
However, many say that public safety is improved when undocumented immigrants can work with police without the fear of being deported. The bill would also require a minimum five-year sentence for nonviolent felons, which those who oppose the bill believe is unfair.
San Bernardino County is home to an estimated 120,000 undocumented immigrants.