Interview: Mother Jones reporter on sanctuary cities and security
Editor's note: This interview originally aired on Sept. 28, 2015. The text has been updated to reflect more details about the original lawsuit and that a federal magistrate dismissed the portion of suit against the city and its former sheriff on Jan. 6, 2017.
In July 2015, 32- year old San Francisco resident Kate Steinle was walking along San Francisco’s Embarcadero when she was shot and killed on Pier 14. The alleged shooter, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, had been deported from the U.S. multiple times and had seven felonies on his record. The case raised the issue of San Francisco as a “sanctuary city,” a status it’s held since 1989.
Steinle's parents sued the City and County of San Francisco, former San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and two federal agencies for wrongful death, negligence and a deprivation of federal civil rights. A federal magistrate dismissed the portion of the lawsuit against the city and Mirkarimi on Jan. 6, 2017.
The case ignited a national conversation about whether sanctuary cities are more dangerous than others. Mother Jones reporter Josh Harkinson has explored that question.
HARKINSON: When local authorities do take up that role of immigration enforcement more directly, it undermines their ability to solve crimes.