The acquittal of an illegal alien charged with shooting and killing a woman in San Francisco is being called an outrage by immigration watchdogs.
Jose Garcia Zarate was charged with using a stolen handgun to shoot Kate Steinle near a San Francisco pier, where she died literally in the arms of her father from the single fatal shot.
Defense attorneys argued that the killing was accidental after a bullet ricocheted and struck Steinle, though the jury could have found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter instead of murder. He was convicted only of illegal possession of a firearm.
San Francisco is a "sanctuary city" that protected Zarate from federal immigration officials. He was released from jail despite a federal retainer to hold him - and despite a felony record and being deported five previous times to his home country of Mexico.
From the outset of the trial, however, the judge barred any mention of Zarate's immigration history and instructed the jury only to consider the defendant's intentions on July 1, 2015, The Associated Press reported.
"This is just further evidence that most protected class of people in the United States today seems to be illegal aliens," complains Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
"You have these sanctuary jurisdictions that are just going the extra mile," he says. "They're bending over backwards to make sure the illegal aliens are more protected than everyone else in American society."
William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, says Democrats should be held accountable for these policies.
"They are the party of criminality," he says. "The reason there is a one-to-one statistical relationship between straight Democratic voting behavior precincts and the highest crime probabilities according to the UCR crime indexes and the country. So this gives us a rather clear example about how Democrats and socialists lead to the victimization of our citizens because they are a contributory to those crimes."