A debate has been raging in our country about whether or not sanctuary cities should exist, and that debate just got turned up a few degrees.
In 2015, Jose Zarate allegedly shot and killed Kate Steinle in Los Angeles. The case became a lightning rod for then-candidate Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, which he frequently invoked to draw attention to his proposed wall.
On Thursday, Zarate was acquitted of murder, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a deadly weapon. However, jurors did convict Zarate of being a felon in possession of a firearm. This charge could put him in jail for only up to three years, and Zarate has already been in custody for two.
Ben Shapiro joined Fox News Thursday to weigh in on the verdict:
"I live in Los Angeles and I can tell you that the idea that making sure that illegal immigrants continue to be released back onto the streets rather than being given over to the feds — that is not going to lower the crime rate. The lack of trust between the immigrant community and the law enforcement community — that needs to be overcome. But that can’t be overcome just by simply saying that illegal immigrants should be released back into the community rather than being handed over to the feds.”
Also joining Shapiro was Adrienne Elrod. She was director of strategic communications for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Elrod tried to turn the argument on to Trump only using this tragedy as a “political football”:
“I understand what he [Trump] tapped into, but I also think it's an absolute shame that he used this case time and time again as a political football, when the family of Kate has gone through so much tragedy and so much heartache. To have this used in any sort of political way by the president of the United States ... when he was running as a candidate, is a real shame...”
Shapiro referenced California's three strike law, which could have been invoked here and sent Zarate to prison for the rest of his life, but it was not. According to Mediaite, he added:
“He was out, he picked up a gun — he stole a gun presumably, and then he shot Kate Steinle. Whether he meant to shoot her or whether he just meant to discharge the firearm is no consequence.When you pick up that gun and you know that it has the possibility of firing and it fires, this is the very best involuntary manslaughter.”
The ire caused by this verdict extends to government and law enforcement as well. Host Shannon Bream read part of a statement by Deputy Director of ICE, Thomas D. Homan on the verdict:
"It is unconscionable that politicians across this country continue to endanger the lives of Americans with sanctuary policies while ignoring the harm inflicted on their constituents. Following the conclusion of this case, ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Karate and ultimately remove him from the country.”
Shapiro closed out the segment by affirming why he thinks President Trump is correct in his notion that a barrier wall should be built along the border:
“The basic notion that an illegal immigrant can commit crimes in this country and then reenter the country at will is why President Trump won and that’s why President Trump ought to push for the construction of that barrier and ought to make sure that the American people are safe from predators like this one.”
Shapiro was even more direct later on his personal Facebook page, inviting fans to watch a video of his appearance on Fox News. He wrote: “The verdict on Kate Steinle's shooting death is an abomination. Watch me debunk the notion that sanctuary cities are safer.”