MSNBC Guest: Kate Steinle Killing 'Equally Tragic' to O'Reilly and Trump 'Scapegoating' Illegals

Appearing as a guest on Friday's MSNBC Live with Jose Diaz-Balart, San Francisco Board of Supervisors member David Campos defended his city's decision to keep its sanctuary city policy, and, as he began his defense, he absurdly claimed that, although the killing of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant was "tragic," that it is "equally tragic" that people like Donald Trump and Bill O'Reilly  "scapegoat" "undocumented immigrants."

After giving the standard liberal defense of sanctuary cities by claiming that "undocumented immigrants" are more likely to report criminal activity if they do not fear being deported, he ended up pivoting to complaining that there should be more gun control, and suggested that the illegal immigrant who shot and killed Steinle may have done so by accident.

After Diaz-Balart began the segment by asking Campos why he "introduced a resolution reaffirming San Francisco's sanctuary status," Campos began:

Well, first of all, let me say that what happened in the Steinle family case is tragic. But what's equally tragic is that this tragic incident is being used by people like Donald Trump, Bill O'Reilly, and others to scapegoat an entire community. You know, I was brought here as an undocumented child by my parents. That wasn't my choice. But, like so many people, I chose to be a good member of this society, which is how most undocumented people behave in this country.

He continued:

And what's happening here is that people like Donald Trump are trying to score political points, and are pushing for a very dangerous policy, which is to make local law enforcement into agents of immigration. And what San Francisco needed to do was, one, not only to send a message to the Donald Trumps of the world, but, quite frankly, to send a message to the democratic establishment because people are wavering, to say, "What we need is comprehensive immigration reform."

A bit later, after the MSNBC host asked, "How do you get these people off the streets?" Campos replied:

Well, first of all, on this case, let's be very clear. We're still not sure exactly if all the things that happened, you know, in this case, it appears that the shot ricocheted off the ground. But let me say this: The challenge that have with the way that people are talking about this is that they look at an incident like this and they assume that that is representative of an entire community. Newsweek had a very interesting piece that basically shows that, if you look at facts -- not rhetoric, not political points -- but if you look at facts, undocumented people are less likely to commit violent crime than the rest of the population.

He then inserted the issue of gun control as he added:

So why is it that when something like this happens -- and by the way, the problem here is not just that this deal with San Francisco, even though San Francisco has become a political pinata -- where is the outrage in the failure of the federal government to actually do comprehensive immigration reform? Where is the outrage in the fact that you had a gun that was actually stolen from a federal law enforcement agent? We in San Francisco are actually doing something to prevent this, like I said. You know, we have a law that's trying to purge old warrants so we don't transfer the wrong person. We also are requiring that law enforcement actually do something with their guns. You know, this has become an immigration issue, and yet no one is talking about gun control.

As Diaz-Balart jumped in to conclude the segment, the MSNBC host plugged "comprehensive immigration reform" as something that would solve such problems:

And, David, very quickly, we'll have to wrap it up. Comprehensive immigration reform would precisely deal with the people that are here undocumented and that are criminals, and that are raping and killing. Those people would be targeted if there were comprehensive immigration reform, along with all of the other issues that would be dealt with. Hey, David, thanks for being with me. I appreciate your time.

Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Friday, October 23, MSNBC Live with Jose Diaz-Balart from about 10:44 a.m. with critical portions in bold:

JOSE DIAZ-BALART: Now to San Francisco where, this week, the city voted to remain a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants, shielding them from deportation officials for now. The city's board of supervisors unanimously passed a resolution calling on local law enforcement not to notify the feds when undocumented immigrants are released from custody. The city has faced criticism about its sanctuary policies following the death of Kathryn Steinle. She's the 32-year-old woman fatally shot in July by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times to Mexico for various felonies and was released from a San Francisco jail shortly before the shooting.

Joining me now, David Campos, member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. David, good to see you. How are you?

DAVID CAMPOS: I'm great. Thank you very much, Jose. It's good to be here.

DIAZ-BALART: Thank you. And, David, you're an immigrant yourself. You introduced a resolution reaffirming San Francisco's sanctuary status. Why?

CAMPOS: Well, first of all, let me say that what happened in the Steinle family case is tragic. But what's equally tragic is that this tragic incident is being used by people like Donald Trump, Bill O'Reilly, and others to scapegoat an entire community. You know, I was brought here as an undocumented child by my parents. That wasn't my choice. But, like so many people, I chose to be a good member of this society, which is how most undocumented people behave in this country.

And what's happening here is that people like Donald Trump are trying to score political points, and are pushing for a very dangerous policy, which is to make local law enforcement into agents of immigration. And what San Francisco needed to do was, one, not only to send a message to the Donald Trumps of the world, but, quite frankly, to send a message to the democratic establishment because people are wavering, to say, "What we need is comprehensive immigration reform."

DIAZ-BALART: Okay, but, David, let me ask you a question: How is it dangerous for the policies that are in place that permitted someone like Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez to kill Ms. Steinle, how is it dangerous to remove those policies?

CAMPOS: Well, let me say this. San Francisco, its own policy actually allows for the removal of any dangerous individual that has any violent criminal history, so-

DIAZ-BALART: Like this guy?

CAMPOS: That's already provided in what San Francisco-

DIAZ-BALART: But why is that guy on the street? Why was that guy on the street?

CAMPOS: Because in this case you had a lot of different things that went wrong. First of all, there is the question of: Why was this person even transferred to San Francisco? We actually introduced a law which says before our law enforcement seeks the transfer of an individual, they need to check with our district attorney and with our other law enforcement agencies to see if we would actually prosecute.

But let me explain this to you. The reason why it's dangerous for us to become agents of immigration, the way that I explain it is this: Jose, in every neighborhood, in every community in this country, there are undocumented people living in those neighborhoods. Those undocumented people cannot come forward and report crime that they're the victim of or that they're the witness of if they do not have trust in law enforcement. And by coming forward and trusting law enforcement, they're making the entire community safer. They are not going to come forward if they fear that local police are agents of immigration.

DIAZ-BALART: And, David?

CAMPOS: Yes.

DIAZ-BALART: Yeah, I know, and I think you would probably agree that the first people who want the Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchezes out of their community are the undocumented that have to live with this guy and are unable to call authorities because of the fear for what could happen to them versus what could happen to people like this guy.

CAMPOS: And what we are saying is that the law in San Francisco already allows for any violent individual to be targeted. But what they're asking for right now, and I want to thank, by the way, Governor O'Malley because he's the only one who has been talking about this at the presidential level, what people are talking about is trying to push agencies like the San Francisco Police Department to become an arm of immigration. And that's, I think that any undocumented person would have a problem with that, but it's not just with undocumented people that should be concerned about that, it should be all of us because we want our undocumented neighbors to come forward and report crime.

DIAZ-BALART: David, how do you get communities rid of people like this Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez who had been deported five times for felonies and pulled the trigger that killed this extraordinary young woman? How do you get these people off the streets?

CAMPOS: Well, first of all, on this case, let's be very clear. We're still not sure exactly if all the things that happened, you know, in this case, it appears that the shot ricocheted off the ground. But let me say this: The challenge that have with the way that people are talking about this is that they look at an incident like this and they assume that that is representative of an entire community. Newsweek had a very interesting piece that basically shows that, if you look at facts -- not rhetoric, not political points -- but if you look at facts, undocumented people are less likely to commit violent crime than the rest of the population.


So why is it that when something like this happens -- and by the way, the problem here is not just that this deal with San Francisco, even though San Francisco has become a political pinata -- where is the outrage in the failure of the federal government to actually do comprehensive immigration reform? Where is the outrage in the fact that you had a gun that was actually stolen from a federal law enforcement agent? We in San Francisco are actually doing something to prevent this, like I said. You know, we have a law that's trying to purge old warrants so we don't transfer the wrong person. We also are requiring that law enforcement actually do something with their guns. You know, this has become an immigration issue, and yet no one is talking about gun control.

DIAZ-BALART: And, David, very quickly, we'll have to wrap it up. Comprehensive immigration reform would precisely deal with the people that are here undocumented and that are criminals, and that are raping and killing. Those people would be targeted if there were comprehensive immigration reform, along with all of the other issues that would be dealt with. Hey, David, thanks for being with me. I appreciate your time.

CAMPOS: Thank you very much.


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