House passes 'Kate's Law' to crack down on immigration enforcement

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ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Friday, June 30, 2017
House passes 2 laws which aim to toughen up immigration enforcement
The House passed a pair of bills on Thursday which aim to toughen up immigration enforcement across America.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The House passed a pair of bills on Thursday which aim to toughen up immigration enforcement across America.

One bill is tied to the tragic shooting of a San Francisco woman who died nearly two years ago at the hands of an undocumented immigrant.

Along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, there's a memorial bench at Pier 14, a reminder of tragedy. "Suddenly a shot rang out. Kate fell and looked at me, and said help me dad. Those are the last words I'll ever hear from my daughter," said Jim Steinle, the father of Kate Steinle, back in 2015.

RELATED: Kate Steinle's family files federal lawsuit over her death

Two years ago, Kate was shot and killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national who had been convicted of seven felonies and deported five times.

The case would ignite a national debate on immigration. "To have a blanket of discriminatory laws that come out as a result, to cast blame on cities that are trying to protect themselves, that's wrong. That's all politics. I don't think that honors Kate Steinle in any way," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said.

On Capitol Hill, the House passed a bill known as "Kate's Law," which would enhance penalties for convicted and deported criminals who re-enter the country illegally.

Prior to the vote, Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with families who had been victimized by undocumented immigrants as the Trump Administration pushed for the bill's passage.

RELATED: President Trump urges House to pass 'Kate's Law'

"President Trump has made clear that our borders are not open to illegal immigration, that we are a nation of laws and we will no longer look the other way," Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said.

Another immigration bill called the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" also passed on Thursday and would hold certain federal funds from sanctuary cities such as San Francisco.

Critics say these proposals will do more harm than good. "A bill that is focused on ramping up deportations and arrests of people whose only violation is their immigration status is the wrong approach. That's why law enforcement has said it hurts public safety," Fwd.US' Todd Schulte said.

Both bills will now move onto the Senate for consideration.

Click here for the latest stories in the Pier 14 shooting.