In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Thomas Homan made clear his displeasure regarding the circumstances of the case and signaled his intent to remove Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the defendant in the case and an illegal immigrant, from the country.
“San Francisco’s policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law,” Homan said. San Francisco is one of the dozens of cities nationwide that do not fully cooperate with the enforcement of immigration law by federal authorities like ICE.
"This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had simply turned the alien over to ICE, as we requested, instead of releasing him back onto the streets. 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 Zarate and ultimately remove him from the country."
That would be the sixth deportation for Garcia Zarate, who has been living in the United States illegally on and off for decades.
Garcia Zarate was released from the San Francisco County Jail in April 2015, a few months before Steinle's death. Upon his release, the sheriff at the time said he was complying with the city's sanctuary policy.