Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) announced today that she has co-authored legislation by Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside), that would require city and county officials, who are set to release a felon in the country illegally, to first notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) about the release and hold that felon for at least 48 hours.
“The tragic and senseless killings of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco and Marilyn Pharis in Santa Maria at the hands of illegal immigrant felons compels the Legislature to act,” said Bates. “While it will take much more at the federal level to fix our broken immigration system, the least we can do at the state level is to alert the federal government of the presence of illegal immigrant felons so it can either prosecute or deport them. It makes no sense to allow these felons to walk free as they endanger the safety of citizens and immigrants alike.”
Kathryn Steinle, 32, was walking along San Francisco’s waterfront with her father on July 1 when police say she was shot by a man with seven felony convictions who had been deported five times. Marilyn Pharis, 64, was attacked with a hammer and sexually assaulted in her Santa Maria home on July 24 and later died due to her injuries. A man, who was in the country illegally, has been charged in the rape and fatal assault.
In both cases, these women were allegedly murdered by men who had long criminal histories, were in the U.S. illegally, and had been released before U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was notified.