Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thomas Homan expressed shock at the verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial in an interview Tuesday.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was accused of shooting Steinle on a San Francisco pier in July 2015. Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant, had been deported five times and, only a few months prior to Steinle's death, had been in a San Francisco jail.
“This isn't the America I grew up in,” Homan said. “For a city to knowingly release a public safety threat back into the public is just ridiculous.”
“They want to fund sanctuary cities to keep illegal aliens in, but they don't want to fund the border wall to keep them out,” he continued. “To me, that's backwards.”
The U.S. Department of Justice has issued an arrest warrant for Garcia Zarate, who has remained in law enforcement custody since his acquittal. In a statement Thursday, Homan said ICE intends to deport him.
Homan went on to say in that statement that San Francisco's “policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law.” The Center for Immigration Studies lists the city as one of dozens nationwide that do not fully cooperate with the enforcement of immigration law by federal authorities such as ICE.
California State Sen. Jeff Stone echoed Homan's sentiment regarding both the case outcome and the underlying policy issues.
"How you could come to that conclusion is a mockery of justice. I don’t know how else to put it,” Stone said on the Steinle verdict, according to The Washington Post. “It should be a wake-up call to every American that our judicial system in certain parts of the country, such as here in San Francisco, are way off the charts to the left and have to be fixed.”
Watch Homan's interview below.