SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — In his first statement on the Pier 14 shooting, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone asked elected officials Monday to refrain from politicizing the “senseless killing” of a 31-year-old Pleasanton woman.
Two weeks following the death of Kathryn Steinle, Cordileone offered his condolences to her family and invited the community to pray for them in addition to Francisco Sanchez, the Mexican national with multiple deportations who was charged with Steinle’s death.
The incident has sparked a national debate on the country’s immigration enforcement law as finger-pointing continues between federal and local officials over San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy.
Cordileone said while it’s important to prevent something similar from happening again, he calls on elected officials to “avoid the implementation of policies that punish all immigrants for the transgressions of a small minority.”
He goes to ask others from using this tragedy for political expediency or political gain. “This is a disservice to Kathryn’s memory and to any effort to find a just solution that prevents a reoccurrence of this type of event,” he said.
Cordileone said he supports San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy, but that changes to the system would be welcomed.
I applaud the commitment to public safety of the City of San Francisco and other local jurisdictions and support their right to exercise reasonable and appropriate discretion in the handling of immigrant detainees, consistent with their need to maintain public safety. At the same time, greater cooperation is needed between local and federal authorities in identifying those who represent a violent threat to our communities. A just and humanitarian policy should not be abandoned because of flaws in the system. Rather, proper authorities should make prudent adjustments in the application of the law in order to protect the public safety of all those living in our country.
Steinle’s parents support a proposed law that would deal more harshly with deported immigrants who return illegally to the U.S. They were expected to speak at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.