Last week, a young woman in San Francisco was tragically murdered by an undocumented immigrant who had an extensive deportation record, reported Talking Points Memo. The incident fueled the right-wing’s racist, anti-immigration fervor as conservative author Ann Coulter chimed in.
Francisco Sanchez shot and killed 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle at San Francisco’s Pier 14, a busy and popular tourist spot in the city. Sanchez, 45, is a repeat felon and undocumented immigrant who has been deported to Mexico five times. He is now being used by Coulter and Donald Trump as an anti-immigration talking point.
Because Sanchez is a felon and an undocumented immigrant, conservative wingnut Coulter is using the incident to double down on her anti-immigrant vitriol and thinks it gives Trump’s racist rant against Mexico some validity. There’s one problem; it doesn’t. Coulter went so far as to compare immigrant attacks to shark attacks. Although, the connection is baffling.
“You know, going into this weekend, the media was consumed with stories, Americans have to be on the lookout for ISIS attacks and terror attack expected, and oh, shark attacks,” said Coulter. “I will bet you by the end of the weekend, more Americans will have been killed by Mexicans than by ISIS or by sharks.”
ISIS and shark attacks are some really odd things to use for comparison. We never said Coulter was a smart person, though. Coulter used a classic public opinion trick: when a tragedy happens, use the facilitator of that tragedy to generalize an entire group of people in order to bolster an idea. In this case, it’s Mexican immigrants.
When the news of Steinle’s murder broke, Trump used Twitter to cook up anti-immigration anger.
Immigration didn’t kill this young woman, a criminal did. That criminal could have been anyone of any nationality or race. To make this murder into an immigration issue is racist, misleading, and grossly misguided.