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ICE director rips San Francisco's sanctuary city policies after jury finds Steinle killer not guilty

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director Thomas Homan released a statement after the verdict in the death of Kate Steinle and blamed San Francisco's sanctuary city policies. "This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had simply turned the alien over to ICE," Homan said. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Tom Homan released a statement Thursday night blaming San Francisco's sanctuary city polices for the death of Kate Steinle after a shocking verdict was handed down in the case Thursday.

What did Homan say?

"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. "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," Homan continued.

"Following the conclusion of this case, ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Zarate and ultimately remove him from the country," he concluded.

Are sanctuary city polices actually to blame for Kate Steinle's death?

There appears to be a direct connection between San Francisco's sanctuary city policies that prevent local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials enforcing immigration law and Steinle's death.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45, was released from police custody in defiance of a request from ICE to hold him until they could detain him for deportation.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a statement blaming sanctuary cities for the tragic death. Sessions has made eradicating sanctuary city policies one of the priorities of the Department of Justice since President Donald Trump took up the cause in his presidential campaign.

On Thursday, Garcia Zarate was found not guilty of the 2015 death of Steinle, which was argued to be accidental, according to his defense attorney. He was found guilty of felony possession of a firearm.

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