Congress gets another chance to pass ‘Kate’s Law’ to stop immigrants who re-enter after deportation

In this Sept. 1, 2015, file photo, from left, Brad Steinle, Liz Sullivan and Jim Steinle, the brother, mother and father of Kate Steinle who was shot to death on a pier, listen to their attorneys speak during a news ..

By S.A. Miller - The Washington Times - Friday, January 6, 2017

The “Kate’s Law” bill has been introduced into the 115th Congress, giving lawmakers another run at legislation that would impose a mandatory minimum five-year prison term on illegal immigrants who re-enter the U.S. after being deported.

The legislation is named for 32-year-old Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed allegedly by a previously deported illegal immigrant felon in San Francisco. The House passed the bill last year but it died in a filibuster by Senate Democrats.
The bill was introduced again this week in the House by Rep. Steve King and in the Senate by Sen. Ted Cruz.

“Parents should never experience the heartbreak of burying their child, but the Obama administration’s commitment to lawless immigration policy has made that tragedy the new normal,” said Mr. King, Iowa Republican.

“In his push for amnesty for criminals, the president ignored the price paid by victims — the price paid by Kate Steinle as she died in her father’s arms on San Francisco’s waterfront,” he said. “Kate’s beautiful life was taken from her on July 1, 2015, when she was shot in the back by an illegal alien who had previously been deported five times and was seeking refuge in a so-called ‘sanctuary city.’ “

The bill was originally introduced in 2015 by Mr. Cruz in the Senate and by former Rep. Matt Salmon in the House. Mr. Salmon, Arizona Republican, retired at the end of the last Congress.

Mr. Cruz said the American people had given Congress and the incoming administration a mandate to “reverse the dangerous course set under the Obama Administration that has encouraged illegal immigration and enabled lawbreakers to escape prosecution.”

“Kate’s Law is crucial to ensure that deported illegal aliens, especially those with violent criminal records, are deterred from illegally re-entering the United States to prey on innocent Americans,” the Texas Republican said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and President-elect Trump to once and for all prevent cities from harboring illegal aliens, enforce federal immigration laws, and ensure the safety and security of the American people.”

During the presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump championed the Steinle family and the parents of other victims of illegal immigrant crime. Steinle’s name was included in a list of victims cited by Mr. Trump in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more, nothing even close I have to tell you, than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our borders, which we can solve. We have to solve it,” Mr. Trump said in the speech.

Mr. King said it was a “disgrace” that tougher laws haven’t been enacted in the year and a half since the murder of Steinle.
“I know that President-elect Trump will fight for the safety and security of the American people by actually enforcing our federal immigration laws. In the meantime, I will continue honoring the memory of Kate and working to prevent similar tragedies from happening to other American families in the future,” Mr. King said.