Michelle Moons, Breitbart, July 6, 2015
Five-time deportee, seven-time convicted felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez said in a new interview Sunday with a local ABC News affiliate that he came to San Francisco because he knew the sanctuary city would not hand him over to immigration officials.
Lopez-Sanchez has confessed to shooting Kathryn Steinle last Wednesday at Pier 14.
Had San Francisco authorities not refused a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request, Lopez-Sanchez may not have been in the United States and Steinle might still be alive.
An ICE official told Breitbart News that ICE Enforcement and Removal had begun processing the suspect for reinstatement of removal from the U.S. in March. But instead Lopez-Sanchez was transferred on March 26 from the Bureau of Prisons in another city to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD) because of a drug warrant. ICE then filed the detainer request to be notified prior to Lopez-Sanchez’s release from custody.
San Francisco and SFSD policy is to deny ICE detainer requests, barring special circumstances, such as a warrant for a suspected violent offender. The ICE detainer request was denied, and on April 15, 2015 Lopez-Sanchez was released. Two and a half months later Kate Steinle was killed.
The 2013 “Trust Act,” signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, gave California cities like San Francisco more leeway in deciding whether to comply with immigration authorities.
In the ABC7 interview, Sanchez claimed that he had found sleeping pills in a dumpster and taken them before heading down to the pier. He strangely claims he found the gun on a bench wrapped in a T-shirt. In a new version of the story, he says the gun went off three times and that he kicked it into the bay. He then lit up a cigarette, walked away and claims he didn’t know he shot anyone until police picked him up.
“Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials,” the report added.