Debate over 'sanctuary cities' hits a new level after Kate Steinle verdict

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As reaction continues to pour in from across the country regarding the not guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial, many are now asking, what's next for sanctuary cities?

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"The Department of Justice will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a written statement. "I urge the leaders of the nation's communities to reflect on the outcome of this case, and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers."
President Donald Trump didn't hold back Friday morning on Twitter: "The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border always committing crimes and being violent and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!"

RELATED: President Trump calls Kate Steinle verdict 'a complete travesty of justice'

Some say the case of Kate Steinle's accused killer, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, has been more about politics, rather than actual policy.

"This is actually the first time that I've seen where the President of the United States, has come out in this way, to actually attack, he's attacking the jury, and they were just doing their job," said Prof. Richard Boswell, associate dean at the UC Hastings College of the Law.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is standing firm despite some of the harsh criticism he's received.

"We are, and will remain, a sanctuary city, no matter what the Attorney General of the United States tries to do, or the president tries to do, because we believe, and we know for a fact, we're a safer city as a result," said Lee.

Boswell says the focus needs to be on actual immigration reform moving forward.

"We have juries, because we entrust in them, the responsibility of making these hard decisions, devoid of politics," says Boswell.

The House passed "Kate's Law" and the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" in June, but both bills continue to languish in the Senate.

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