Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro told Fox News that "the basic notion that an illegal immigrant can commit crimes in this country and then re-enter the country at will is why President Trump won" while responding to the not guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial.
The reaction comes as a San Fransisco jury acquitted an immigrant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who was charged with the murder of the 32-year-old Steinle in 2015. Karate was residing the U.S. illegally and had been deported to Mexico five times before the shooting.
“He was out, he picked up a gun. He stole a gun, presumably, and then he shot Kate Steinle,” Shapiro said to Shannon Bream on "Fox News at Night."
“Whether he meant to shoot her or whether he just meant to discharge the firearm is no consequence. When you pick up that gun and you know that it has the possibility of firing and it fires, this is the very best involuntary manslaughter," he continued.
Shapiro pivoted to the political ramifications of the verdict while citing it as a primary reason President Trump, who made illegal immigration and border security a central theme during the 2016 campaign, won the election.
“The basic notion that an illegal immigrant can commit crimes in this country and then re-enter the country at will is why President Trump won and that’s why President Trump ought to push for the construction of that barrier and ought to make sure that the American people are safe from predators like this one,” he concluded.
The president weighed in on the verdict via Twitter on Thursday night, calling it "disgraceful."
A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
Despite a request from federal authorities that the 45-year-old Zarate be jailed until he could again be deported, he was released from a San Francisco jail before Steinle's death.
Federal charges are now being weighed as a possible next legal option.