Senator Morrell Urges Congress to Pass "Kate's Law"

Authors resolution supporting federal bill to deter deported felons from returning to U.S.
Thursday, February 2, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) announced that he has introduced Senate Joint Resolution 4, calling on Congress to pass a proposed law creating a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison for an individual that has returned to the United States illegally after having been deported and previously convicted of a felony here.

“Each day, sanctuary cities put citizens in danger by not cooperating with the federal government on issues related to illegal immigrants detained for committing crimes,” said Morrell. “In the most tragic cases, when these felons are released, lives can be lost like that of Kate Steinle. Passing Kate’s Law is a necessary step in deterring deported criminals from returning to the United States and attempting to find safe haven in sanctuary cities.”

The proposed “Kate’s Law” is named for Kathryn Steinle, who was senselessly killed on July 1, 2015 while visiting San Francisco with her father. The alleged gunman, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, is a seven-time convicted felon that had been deported five times. He was turned over to San Francisco authorities the previous March for drug offenses. Rather than comply with a request by federal authorities to be notified of Lopez-Sanchez’s release, San Francisco officials, in keeping with the city’s misguided sanctuary law, ignored it, placing the lives of citizens in harm’s way, tragically resulting in Steinle’s death. Lopez-Sanchez will soon be tried for this alleged crime.

“As elected officials, we are entrusted with preserving the public safety and upholding the rule of law,” continued Morrell. “It is critical that congressional efforts to pass Kate’s Law succeed, especially now as states like California are actively working to resist cooperating with the federal government.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) are leading efforts at the national level to pass Kate’s Law, introducing legislation at the recent start of the 115th Congress.