|Rep. Eric Swalwell|
15TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
A House bill backed by President Donald Trump that would increase minimum prison sentences for repeat offenders of U.S. immigration law was supported Thursday by East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell.
The bill is inspired by the tragic 2015 murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant who had been arrested and deported five times for various crimes before the killing.
Steinle’s death was used to great effect early in Trump’s presidential campaign and rallied supporters worried about undocumented immigrants in the U.S. It also signaled to others an early hint of his animus toward immigrants, in general.
The House bill, dubbed “Kate’s Law,” passed, 257-167, with support from 24 Democrats, including Swalwell, a liberal whose politics nonetheless appear moderate in the uber progressive East Bay.
Swalwell knew Steinle and keeps in touch with her family members, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This bill is not perfect, and it’s shameful that the Republicans did not allow any debate…. But it does improve our ability to punish individuals who repeatedly break the law and to deter those who may do so,” Swalwell said in a statement.