When Cal Poly graduate Kathryn Steinle was shot while walking along Pier 14 in San Francisco last week, her alleged killer was soon found and arrested. But when word got out that Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant, should have been deported after a charges of possession and distribution of Marijuana in March, it prompted a nationwide uproar that could lead to policy changes.
San Francisco’s status as a designated “Sanctuary City” prevents authorities from turning illegal immigrants over to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The ICE asked to be notified if Sanchez was released in March, a request San Francisco did not honor.
Sanchez had been deported five times and had seven previous felonies on his criminal record, four of them drug-related, before being arrested for Steinle’s death.
The city would have turned Sanchez over to the authorities in March if he had a violent crime conviction within the last seven years, according to the Los Angeles Times. Many in favor of stricter immigration laws, including Donald Trump, have used Steinle’s death as a political ammunition for the cause.
Steinle graduated from Cal Poly in 2009 with a degree in communication studies. She was 32 years old.
Correction: A previous version of this article said Sanchez was released after his arrest for Steinle’s killing, not his marijuana charges in March.